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Wood Recycling firm ordered to pay £12,000 for excessive waste storage

A Huddersfield wood recycling firm and one of its officers have been ordered to pay more than £12,000 for storing excessive amounts of waste on their premises.

J S Bamforth & Co, based at Scotland Yard in Huddersfield, and the firm’s officer Stephen Hillas, were sentenced at Kirklees Magistrates Court for environmental permitting crimes.

Hillas and the firm each admitted two offences of breaching their environmental permit by storing excessive amounts of wood waste at the site.

The company was fined £6,000 and Hillas received a separate fine of £2,000. The company must also pay legal costs of £4,167.

The firm has a permit allowing up to 70 tonnes of non-hazardous waste to be stored at its site, but an Environment Agency (EA) investigation in April and May 2012 found wood waste overflowing from a storage building with additional waste of more than 30 tonnes stored in two skips.

EA officers calculated there was around 195 tonnes on site in all.

The company was notified of its legal obligation to reduce the amount of waste on site, but it did not comply.

Bamforth & Co disputed the figures in an interview by suggesting that the estimated density of the wood, for the volumes seen by the officers, had been incorrect.

However, even using a revised density figure provided by Bamforth, the estimated weights for April and May came out at 128 tonnes. this was 58 tonnes over the permitted limit.

In mitigation, the company said that installing a weighbridge would be too expensive.

David Tempest, environment officer at the EA, said: “Waste regulations exist to ensure that recycling sites such as these do not have a detrimental impact on the environment or the people who live nearby.

“It is absolutely vital that companies obey the law, and in order to do this, it is the responsibility of the companies themselves to ensure that they meet the conditions of the permit.”

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