Firm fined for accepting waste containing asbestos

21st April 2015

A waste management firm has been fined for breaching its environmental permit by accepting asbestos-containing materials.

Wilco’s Waste Management Ltd of Trevol Business Park in Torpoint pleaded guilty to failing to take measures to prevent pollution, accepting wastes containing asbestos and failing to ensure competent persons were on site to oversee waste management activities. The firm must now pay almost £10,000 in fines and costs, reports cornishguardian.co.uk.

The Environmental Agency said it found a significant amount of asbestos on site back in September 2014. Counsel Ms Pakeeza Rahman, who prosecuted the firm on the behalf of the Agency, commented that waste management firms naturally receive some asbestos by accident but on this occasion the amount was “not consistent with a mistake”.

“Wilco’s staff were being put at risk by asbestos; therefore this was reported to the Health and Safety Executive,” she explained.

Andrew Maitland, for the defence, stated that the firm has a serious problem with builders tipping asbestos and that often, the dangerous material is hidden at the bottom of skips. To combat this problem, Wilco’s drivers are now conducting much more thorough inspections of skips and the site managers also look over them before they are tipped, reports plymouthherald.co.uk.

If asbestos is found, it’s to be returned to sender, so it can be disposed of safely and correctly. The district judge, however, still believed the firm’s actions to be negligent, which was the reason for its fine.