10 October 2005

Guilty plea over controlled waste disposal on Norwich farm

An illegal waste management operation at a farm in Norfolk has led to a company and individual receiving court fines and costs totalling over 200,000.

At a hearing today, Paul Rackham of Manor Farm, Bridgham, Norwich, pleaded guilty to three charges related to the deposit, treatment and disposal of controlled waste on farm land at East Harling without a waste management licence.


”It is wholly unacceptable to deposit materials such as syringes with needles, bottles of pills, batteries, metal knives and inhalers onto fields where members of the public or livestock could be affected.“
– Ian Hill, Environment Agency

The waste came from a waste recycling centre at Haddenham Road, Lowestoft, and was dumped by Anti-Waste Ltd, also of Manor Farm, Bridgham, at Camp Farm near East Harling. The offences took place in December 1999.

Anti-Waste Ltd had pleaded guilty to similar charges at a hearing held in February.

Magistrates at King's Lynn today fined Mr Rackham a total of 25,000 and Anti-Waste Ltd 21,000. The two parties shared the legal costs of the Environment Agency, which brought the case, which totalled over 156,000.

Sharp
The Agency said waste found on the land at Camp Farm contained medical items and sharp objects that constituted an obvious risk to field workers, members of the public and wildlife.

After the hearing, Environment Agency team leader Ian Hill said: “The Agency supports responsible recycling of waste materials in a way that does not cause harm or potential harm to the environment or public health. However, it is wholly unacceptable to deposit materials such as syringes with needles, bottles of pills, batteries, metal knives and inhalers onto fields where members of the public or livestock could be affected.”

Mr Hill added: “It is important that where waste is to be spread onto agricultural land, a full risk assessment is carried out to ensure that environmental harm is avoided and that discussions are held with Environment Agency officers prior to carrying out the work.”


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