On 13 November 2013, Averies Recycling (Swindon) Ltd, pleaded guilty at Bristol Crown Court to causing a nuisance to neighbouring businesses with dust generated from their waste operations and in addition, the firm also pleaded guilty to operating a waste transfer station without an environmental permit.
As a result of its failings, the company was fined a total of £11,000 and ordered to pay costs of £60,000.
Lee Averies, Officer of Averies Recycling (Swindon) Ltd, pleaded guilty to causing the company to commit the dust offence by neglecting to ensure appropriate measures were in place or followed to control dust from escaping the site. Mr Averies was subsequently fined £2,000.
The Court was informed that dust escaping from the site blighted neighbouring businesses, their staff and customers by settling on their vehicles, affecting the quality of their working life and in the case of one
company, contributed to the replacement of air filtering equipment. It also heard that some of the businesses, including car repair companies, were forced to frequently wash the dust off customers’ cars.
It was revealed that as part of the Court proceedings, the company has agreed to implement a raft of measures at both its Marshgate site and its Brindley Close site, which includes: a variation of their environmental permits with updated Environmental Management Systems, Dust Management Plans and
an Odour Management Plan.
Furthermore, the company will construct a building to enclose the waste operations for which they already have planning permission. The measures should result in both sites operating in compliance with their environmental obligations, according to reports.
Commenting after the case, Glen Browne, an Environment Officer at the Environment Agency, said:
“We are pleased the Court has taken this action. Waste businesses must ensure that as operators they have a permit and that their activities do not cause nuisance by allowing, in this case, dust to repeatedly escape from their premises thereby risking pollution of the environment as well as disrupting the working lives of surrounding businesses and their employees.
“We always try to work with waste companies to help them meet the requirements of their conditions. However, where companies fail to respond, we will take firm enforcement action. Waste service company directors should be aware of the correct way to run their business to ensure they are not harming
the environment or breaking the law.”