SWEDEN: UK company told to return ‘illegal’ waste

An English engineering and construction company is being pursued by environmental protection officials in Sweden and England regarding an illegal shipment of waste from Sweden.

On 20 April, the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wrote to Stirling Lloyd, a Cheshire-based firm, asking the company to return waste that was shipped to England from Sweden without a valid license. The English Environment Agency told edie that the waste was shipped toward the end of 1999.

The waste is thought to weigh 30 tonnes and to consist of liquid acetone, polymerised material, protective clothing and absorbent cloth. The waste arose from work Stirling Lloyd undertook on the construction of the Öresund bridge that connects Sweden with Denmark.

Writing to Stirling Lloyd’s managing director, the Swedish EPA stated that: “The [English] Environment Agency considers this waste to be hazardous waste (highly flammable) and should therefore be notified before a transfrontier shipment”. The letter requests that return of the waste be effected by 1 June. “Since the waste was originally produced in Malmö the waste should be sent to that place again,” states the letter. “In Malmö there is a licensed company that has a responsibility to transport all hazardous waste that is produced in the municipality.”

Speaking with edie, Stirling Lloyd’s managing director, David Lloyd, said he didn’t want to confirm or deny anything. Margareta Appelberg, of the Swedish EPA told edie that Stirling Lloyd has not yet responded to the letter. “It not a huge amount of waste being dumped, but it’s illegal and we have to follow the regulations,” says Appelberg.

The Environment Agency confirmed that it is considering legal action against Stirling Lloyd and that ignorance of the law is not generally considered a defence in such situations.

Stirling Lloyd undertakes bridge deck waterproofing, tanking and lining as well as surfacing and liquid roofing.

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