Firm fined over spilt milk

A factory has been fined £30,000 after allowing milk and other food waste to pollute a nearby watercourse.

A large number of creatures in Towns Croft Drain, in Grimsby, were killed and fish were affected by the discharge from the premises owned by Bakkavor Foods, magistrates heard.

Bakkavor Foods, which pleaded guilty to two charges, was also ordered to pay £1,710 in costs after failing to dispose properly of its waste.

The pollution was first spotted by a member of public in August 28 last year when they noticed that a tributary of the Towns Croft Drain was milky white and smelt of rotten eggs.

An Environment Agency investigation traced the contamination back to the Bakkavor Foods site.

The court heard the officer found waste management at the premises was poor, and yard surfaces had become contaminated with food waste including milk – the most highly polluting of all foods.

Foodstuffs such as pasta, rice, carrots and beans were found in the Towns Croft Drain.

Kieran Martyn, prosecuting, said: “The company continued to manage the site poorly after the first incident on August 28 and even after being interviewed under caution for this incident.

“An ecological survey found that this was not just a recent problem.”

Following the hearing, Environment Agency officer Christian Martin said: “Despite being warned following the first incident in August, the company again allowed highly organic polluting matter to enter the watercourse.

“This should send out a clear message to companies that the Environment Agency will take action against those who disregard environmental law.”

Kate Martin

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