Pet food firm fined £10,000 for second pollution conviction

A £10,000 fine has been issued to a Buckinghamshire company after it was found polluting a watercourse only two months after it had been taken to court for an identical offence.

D&M Foods of Westbury, Buckinghamshire receives reject dough, bread, chocolate, sweets and other food products, which it dries in drum kilns, mixes and then sells on to pet food manufacturers.

On 12 February 1999, a public complaint prompted EA staff to investigate possible pollution of a tributary of the River Great Ouse by D&M.

“Staff carried out a biological survey and discovered there was impoverished ecology for one kilometre,” an EA spokesperson told edie. In addition, a build-up of fungus was found for some 500m.

The fungus and diminished water quality were caused by D&M’s failure to keep foodstuffs and residues from washing off its yard and into the watercourse. Reject foodstuffs arriving at the site in the company’s own vehicles are stored under cover, however, when vehicles from external hauliers deliver height restrictions sometimes require that foodstuffs be dumped on the open yard before being placed under cover.

“They were given advice in December 1998 on how to prevent a similar incident and two months later they were doing the same thing again,” said the EA spokesperson. D&M was found guilty of an identical pollution incident that took place in December 1997 and involved a court appearance in December 1998. At the time of the first fine, D&M was advised to install an effluent lagoon on site.

“This company has shown a total disregard for the environment by allowing this pollution to continue unabated for a considerable period,” said Innes Jones, area environment protection manager for the EA. “The Agency is in continuing discussion with the company in order to reduce the risk to the environment.”

In addition to the £10,000 fine, D&M was ordered to pay costs of £1,500.

When contacted by edie D&M stated that there was no one onsite who could comment on the case.

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