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Site operator abandoned construction waste

A former site operator has been sentenced to a community payback order of 180 hours for illegal disposal of construction waste.

An investigation by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) found that construction, household and industrial materials were being deposited at the operator’s site in Midlothian without a waste management licence.

James Cunningham was sentenced at Edinburgh Sheriff Court after pleading guilty to the offence, as well as admititng to keeping construction waste illegally on his site at Clippens Yards, Loanhead.

In November 2010, Cunningham assumed sole responsibility for the site and the waste that was there from a previous business.

He was subsequently given permission by Sepa to process the existing waste but was told that no additional material could be brought on to the site without a licence.

But Sepa found that extra waste was being brought to the site with “very little” leaving it. In December 2011 Cunningham ceased trading and vacated the site, leaving the waste behind.

Sepa reporting officer Michael Smith said: “It seems that Cunningham was depositing waste at Clippens with no intention of removing it to a licensed waste site. Now that he has ceased trading it is the landowners who are now responsible for the waste, which will cost a significant amount to remove.

“We hope that this prosecution sends a strong message to those who are running similar sites around the country.”

MRW will be publishing a full waste crime feature in next week’s issue.

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