Waste operator fined £100k for 'landfill gas' breaches
A Cornish waste firm owner has been fined over £100,000 for illegally disposing of hazardous materials including asbestos.
According to Environment Agency officers a "very strong smell of landfill gas" presented itself upon excavation of a series of inspection pits at a waste transfer station in Launceston, where the operator R K Transport had constructed a 250m long bund around the site.
Upon inspection the officers found the bund contained a number of materials that shouldn't have been present including pieces of glass, metal, wood, rubber, wire, steel reinforcing rods and asbestos.
Planning permission for the bund stated it should only be constructed of soil/stones and other inert materials.
Owner Adrian Kneebone said the bund contained approximately 8,000 tonnes of material that had come from various waste sites. Agency officers then visited the waste company that had supplied the waste and found most of it to be unsuitable for bund construction without further processing.
Officers also visited a farm near Launceston where R K Transport had obtained an exemption to deposit up to 2,500 tonnes of subsoil and shillet to maintain and repair tracks and a farm yard. They saw a flattened area protruding out over a steep-sloping field.
The surface appeared to made up of clean shillet, but upon closer inspection non-exempt materials were discovered including plastic pipes, fragments of metal, a plastic drum pipe, car tyre, silicone cartridges, plastic twine, fabric and wood.
Kneebone was fined £30,000 and ordered to pay £36,525 costs after pleading guilty to two offences under the Environmental Permitting Regulations at Bodmin Magistrates Court. His company R K Transport was fined £40,000 for the same offences.