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Averies brothers plead guilty to waste offences

Averies marshgate

Waste company bosses have pleaded guilty to breaching environmental regulations at sites in Wiltshire.

Brothers Lee and David Averies both made their pleas on 30 September at Swindon Crown Court after breaching environmental regulations at their waste sites, Swindon Skips Ltd (SSL) at Brindley Close and Averies Recycling Swindon Ltd (ARSL) at Marshgate in Swindon.

Calne Aggregate Holdings, of which Lee Averies is a director, also pleaded guilty to breaching environmental regulations at another waste site.

The guilty pleas for all three sites relate to the treating, keeping or disposing of waste in a manner likely to cause pollution of the environment or harm to human health.

In a case brought by the Environment Agency (EA), the charges at Brindley Close and Marshgate cover the period when two large fires ignited at the sites in November 2013 and July 2014, respectively.

The fire at Brindley Close burnt for a week while the Marshgate fire burnt for 57 days until mid-September 2014.

According to the EA, ARSL did not comply with notices served on it during the incident to remove sufficient waste to enable Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service to tackle the blaze.

Since the fire at the Marshgate site, the EA has removed ARSL’s waste carriers’ licence, which meant the company could no longer collect waste from local businesses or residents.

Environmental permits were also revoked at both sites which prevented waste being accepted until the risk of serious pollution was removed.

The charge at the Calne site relates to breaches of a permit, which the EA says increased the risk of pollution and harm to human health including the risk of polluting run-off from the waste in the event of a fire.

EA area environment manager Colin Chiverton said: “The Environment Agency has worked hard to minimise the environmental impacts as a result of David Averies’ negligent, and Lee Averies’ reckless mis-management of the site.

“Working in partnership with local authorities, the fire service and Network Rail meant that the impact on the community and environment had been significantly reduced.

“Our officers and contractors worked around the clock to remove waste from the site when the fires broke out to ensure the fire service had the space to extinguish the fires.”

Lee and David Averies are due to be sentenced on 26 October.

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