Bogus waste transfer notes land Scottish operator with fine
A Scottish waste firm has been fined £1,350 for falsifying paperwork relating to duty of care obligations.
Mitchell Thomson, based in Giffnock, pled guilty at Paisley Sheriff Court to intentionally making false entries in records required to be kept under the conditions of its waste management licence.
The company signed 16 waste transfer notices for waste it didn't believe had been received at the site and created false invoices to accompany these transfer notes.
The case was brought by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA). During the course of investigating another company's waste disposal history in May 2010, SEPA was advised that waste had been taken to Mitchell Thomson's licensed site in Giffnock.
SEPA obtained copies of waste transfer notes which identified 16 loads of waste as going to the site during 2009. Proof for 14 loads came in the form of copies of the originally unsigned transfer notes, which had retrospectively been signed by a Mitchell Thomson representative, while the remaining two were accompanied by Mitchell Thomson headed 'waste received' notes.
Following an investigation, Mitchell Thomson admitted to signing transfer notes relating to loads of waste which never came to them. It also admitted creating bogus invoices to accompany these transfer notes, in an effort to cover its tracks.
Commenting on the case, SEPA's senior environment protection officer Colin Morrow said: "Mitchell Thomson has operated under a waste management licence at its site in Giffnock for 30 years and is an experienced operator in the waste management industry.
"The company made a deliberate attempt to provide SEPA with false information, and to cover its tracks by further misleading us in the form of the bogus invoices. This was a deliberate intention to deceive, rather than inaccurate record keeping.
"We hope that this prosecution makes it absolutely clear that falsification of transfer notes and associated documents cannot, and will not, be tolerated."