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Waste broker fined for breach

A waste broker has been fined for its role in the disposal of storage drums contaminated with a hazardous chemical.

At Teesside Magistrates Court (9 November), Wirral-based Innovation Waste Management pleaded guilty to an environmental offence by misdescribing waste which was sent to a scrapyard.

The firm was a waste broker for the disposal of storage drums, which should have been washed but contained hazardous waste residues which caught fire and were potentially hazardous to scrapyard staff.

It has been fined £3,150 and has agreed to pay £4,750 towards the Environment Agencys prosecution costs.

Waste brokers arrange for other businesses controlled waste to be handled, transported, disposed of or recovered, but do not normally handle, transport, dispose of or recover the waste themselves. Waste dealers accept waste from other businesses to sell it on.

In July 2009, waste disposal business UK Resource Management and chemical manufacturer William Blythe were fined £15,000 and £5,000 respectively, and each ordered to pay £4,750 prosecutions costs, after admitting their involvement in the transfer and disposal of the drums.

IWM admitted the offence after the EA stated that it failed in its duty as a waste broker to provide an adequate written description of the waste.

Speaking after the case, EA regulatory officer Andrew Dobson said: Waste brokers arranging movements of waste on behalf of others take responsibility for its safe and proper disposal, despite never physically holding the waste themselves.

IWM were aware that the drums involved in this incident were contaminated but failed to fully identify the nature of the residual material and therefore could not alert others in the waste management chain of its dangerous nature.

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