A Cheshire company has been fined £5,000 after its waste was illegally dumped by a third party without its knowledge - highlighting the need for firms to properly check their waste carrier.
Waste arising from refurbishment work carried out at a property in London by Winsford-based Property Wise Facilities Management was found illegally dumped in Buckinghamshire in April.
Buckinghamshire County Council was able to trace part of the waste back to the Cheshire company, which was prosecuted under a breach of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 for failing to sufficiently check the credentials of the waste carrier it had hired.
Duty of care
Waste duty of care obligations mean that companies must take responsibility for where their waste goes by taking measures to ensure the legitimacy of their waste carrier and retaining waste transfer notes.
Although Property Wise Facilities Management did not know the waste would be dumped illegally, it pleaded guilty to not carrying out a detailed check of the waste carrier’s credentials.
“If your business fails to check whether a waste carrier is registered, or omits to obtain a valid waste transfer note for the removal – and then your rubbish ends up dumped illegally – you will be held to have failed in your duty of care”, said Cllr Bill Chapple, cabinet member for planning and environment at Buckinghamshire County Council.
“This is a very good example of how naïve people and companies can be when unscrupulous waste carriers offer to remove waste on the cheap. These criminal operators created a mountain of waste on public land, leaving the clean-up bill to the council taxpayer.”
In 2016 the waste industry launched a national campaign, Right Waste Right Place, after research found that despite good waste practice on-site, half of small businesses were unsure about where their waste went afterwards.