West Midlands wood recycling operation fined - The Solihull Observer

West Midlands wood recycling operation fined

Solihull Editorial 26th Jan, 2023   0

THE COMPANY director of a West Midlands waste wood recycling operation has been fined.

Robert Moody pleaded guilty to failing to ensure his companies, which included Berkswell Recycling Limited, complied with environmental permits.

Dudley Magistrates Court fined him £61,380 and ordered him to pay costs.

Moody ran three companies in the West Midlands – Berkswell Recycling Limited, Hollybush Recycling Limited and Lodgewood Recycling Limited – who were each ordered to pay fines and costs.

The Environment Agency say all the sites stored excessive amounts of wood, for a prolonged period which posed serious fire and health risks.

The court heard that Moody headed up Jack Moody Recycling Ltd, of Warstone Road, Wolverhampton, which was an umbrella company for his group.

At the Berkswell site, near Hampton-in-Arden, it was estimated there was in excess of 5,000 tonnes rather than the permitted amount of 1,620 tonnes.

Both shredded and unshredded wood were mixed in the stockpiles, increasing the potential for self-combustion.

Officers found that at the Lodgewood site, near Telford, stockpiles of wood were so large that there was no space to quarantine waste in the event of a fire and insufficient fire breaks.

And at the Hollybush site, near Cannock, huge stockpiles of waste wood were situated on an area of the site which had no concrete surfacing to prevent pollution of the ground.

All three companies were served with Enforcement Notices in October 2017 requiring them to reduce stockpile sizes within a six-week period – these were not complied with.

The situation did not improve at all, so the Environment Agency served Suspension Notices on the three companies in March 2018. This was to prohibit any further receipt of waste until the risk of pollution was reduced.

District Judge Wheeler said the offences had been carried out over a significant period of time and were not far short of a flagrant disregard for the law.

Iain Storer, installations lead for the Environment Agency in the West Midlands, said: “We welcome this sentence which should act as a deterrent to others considering flouting the law.

“These sites posed a significant environmental threat due to the high risk of fire and potentially significant impact to local communities and amenities.

“As a regulator, the Environment Agency will not hesitate to pursue companies that fail to meet its obligations to the environment.

“The conditions of an environmental permit are designed to protect people and the environment.

“Failure to comply with these legal requirements is a serious offence that can damage the environment, harm human health and undermine local legitimate waste companies.”

Anyone with information about suspicious of waste activities should call the Environment Agency hotline on 0800 80 70 60 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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