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Scottish recycling firm fined after fire

A recycling company in Scotland has been fined £6,000 for waste-related offences after a fire at its site two years ago.

Perth-based Wyllie Recycling Limited admitted charges related to accepting waste not permitted by its licence, namely lithium and lead acid batteries, and unsafe handling.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) opened an investigation in February 2012 after a large blaze at the company’s facility in the Inveralmond Industrial Estate.

The investigation concluded that workers accepted some unidentified waste, which turned out to be batteries, but failed to conduct a proper appraisal on them and hold them in a safe container in a designated area.

This contributed to the fire, which spread as a result of stacked piles of waste being more concentrated than usual as a section of the site had just been concreted. Around 55 lithium batteries were found at the seat.

Brendan Craig, reporting officer at Sepa, said: “We understand that occasionally waste management stations receive waste that they are not licensed to accept, which is why there is provision within the licence for an area where it can be stored securely and in isolation.

“However, although the site supervisor was informed of the unidentified waste he failed to make an appraisal of it to decide whether or not it was safe to remain on site.

“This case has highlighted why such appraisals and segregation are important, and we hope it serves as a warning to other waste operators.”

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