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Van Dalen hit by 20 grand fine

Metal recyclers Van Dalen UK have been fined £20,000 following a crack Environment Agency (EA) surveillance operation.

The company were fined after pleading guilty to Chesterfield magistrates to two charges of depositing and keeping waste on land without a waste management licence.

Van Dalen UK illegally stored waste fridges at a site on Mansfield Road, Clowne, Derbyshire. EA inspectors visited the site in April last year following complaints from members of the public and discovered 12 fridges.

On returning to the site nearly three weeks later, the inspector found between 50 and 100 fridges. A video surveillance operation by the EA for almost a month found lorries dumping fridges and freezers and them being dumped on pallets.

A final inspection by the EA on 22 May 2004 found around 130 fridges and freezers on hardstanding. Two storage units were also opened and both were found to be full of waste fridges.

EA officer Martin Turner, who was involved in the investigation, said: "There are strict laws governing where waste can be stored. These are in place to protect the environment and human health. Van Dalen chose to disregard these, and have paid the price for this illegal and irresponsible behaviour."

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