Tivvy Skips Limited has been fined £5,500 for illegally burning waste after it was found to be a ‘routine occurrence’ at the site in Tiverton, Devon.
Appearing before Exeter magistrates, Tivvy Skips Ltd was fined £3,000 and ordered to pay £2,500 in costs following an investigation by the Environment Agency.
The Devon-based firm runs a small waste transfer station and operate under an environmental permit, the Agency confirmed.
In January last year, the site was inspected by the Environment Agency where waste was seen loaded in a dumper truck, taken to a skip and burned. The condition of the skip and debris found around it indicated the burning of waste was a ‘routine occurrence’, according to the EA.
The court heard the Environment Agency had previously warned the company about burning waste, but it had ignored the warnings.
Richard Tugwell, of the Environment Agency, said: “Burning waste is illegal and poses a serious risk to the environment and human health. The motive is nearly always financial as it reduces the amount of waste a company has to legally dispose of. Courts take these offences seriously and where we have evidence, we won’t hesitate to prosecute.”
Alan Hutchings, the site manager at Tivvy Skips, told the court that the illegal burning was undertaken by a member of staff who Hutchings claimed was doing so without his knowledge.
Since the offence, the company has introduced new management procedures and was found to be compliant during a recent inspection.