Firm fined for dumping industrial waste in Bidford

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CCTV cameras caught this truck illegally dumping waste into land at Bidford Sewage Treatment Works.

A COMPANY which illegally dumped potentially dangerous liquid waste in Bidford-on-Avon has been heavily fined.

Appearing at Leamington Magistrates’ Court last Tuesday, 12th September, Michelle Hollingworth, director of Oakham Sweepers Limited of Oldbury, pleaded guilty to three charges related to the illegal depositing of controlled waste.

The charges stem from waste dumped from a road sweeper onto land at Bidford Sewage Treatment Works.

The court heard that Stratford-on-Avon District Council was contacted by Severn Trent Water following a series of illegal fly-tipping incidents in the area.

In an effort to find those responsible Severn Trent installed a CCTV camera which captured images of the same vehicle at the scene and on one occasion decanting liquid down a track leading to the sewage works in a secluded part of Bidford.

The footage showed a company employee company backing up the vehicle and depositing the waste, which then dried into a hard material.

The court heard that the liquid was contaminated with heavy metals and roadside pollutants, such as diesel, oil, tarmac and rubber, which may have run into a water course at the bottom of the track.

The hazard this created and its subsequent clear up incurred costs.

The offending employee did not get access to the Severn Trent site itself, but dumped the waste from an access road.

The company was originally fined £9,000 but this was reduced due to the early guilty plea and a fine of £6,000 was imposed.

The council was also awarded costs of £2,115.71.

Cllr Mike Brain, the council’s community and technical services portfolio holder, said: “This prosecution should send out a clear warning that this council takes fly-tipping very seriously and we will take action whenever possible. Fly-tipping is totally unacceptable and we will not tolerate this sort of behaviour.

“In this case, by working together with Severn Trent who deployed cameras in the area, we were able to identify the offender who can be seen in the act of fly-tipping.

“The district council would always appeal for help from residents in putting together fly-tipping cases and we treat information and tip-offs in confidence.

“Fly-tipping is an environmental crime that affects the whole community, but by working together we can crack down on the offenders.”

Hayley Omalley, from Severn Trent, added: “This issue was linked to a wider fly-tipping problem in the area, but repeat offenders kept blocking the works access road, creating an unsafe environment for our team.

“It’s good news that the company was successfully prosecuted.” eports of fly-tipping can be made by calling the district council on 01789 260616 or online at www.stratford.gov.uk at any time.