Two company directors have pleaded guilty to running an illegal waste operation in Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire.
On Friday 15 December 2017, Grimsby Magistrates sentenced Ali Al-Ahmad of Rodmarton Street, London, to a fine of £3,500 and Hassan Abdulrazak of Foxhills Road, Scunthorpe, to a fine of £3,500. In addition, both defendants were ordered to pay a contribution towards the prosecution costs of £2,500.
Al-Ahmad was also given an additional fine of £1,500 after he admitted the illegal deposit of construction and demolition waste that was partly contaminated with asbestos on the site. The magistrates also imposed an order on both defendants requiring them to clear the site of waste within 3 months.
The court was told that the defendants operated a site on Wybeck Road, Scunthorpe, which did not have the necessary permit between 19 May 2014 and 12 October 2016.
The pair told officers from the Environment Agency that they were buying cars from local auctions and exporting them to the Middle East. However, site inspections revealed that they had started to dismantle vehicles, a practice which required an environmental permit.
“We hope this case assures the legitimate waste industry and the public that we will investigate businesses who deliberately or recklessly flout the law, and that the sentences passed send a clear message that behaviour is unacceptable”
Investigators saw that vehicle cutting operations were taking place and that vehicle parts, engines, electrical wiring and batteries were being stored on the site. The pair were told that the operations should stop, but further inspections showed that the advice had been ignored and that no application for a permit had been made.
In addition to this joint charge, Al-Ahmad admitted that construction and demolition waste contaminated with asbestos had been deposited on the site.
Inspectors discovered industrial bulk containers containing oily fluid, broken asbestos sheeting stored in a pile and remnants of a fire containing asbestos. Al-Ahmad was present at an inspection which detected chrysotile asbestos fibres in 19 samples taken from 3 separate locations on and outside the site boundary.
The court noted that neither defendant had any previous convictions and had pleaded guilty at the first opportunity.
Commenting after the hearing, an officer involved in the case said: “The defendants deliberately attempted to mislead us as the regulator. Through such illegal operations they unfairly undercut legitimate waste businesses, making it difficult for compliant firms to compete.
“This causes erosion of the legal waste sector and standards, resulting in an industry which is vulnerable to domination by illegal operators who have no concern for protecting the public or the environment.
“We hope this case assures the legitimate waste industry and the public that we will investigate businesses who deliberately or recklessly flout the law, and that the sentences passed send a clear message that behaviour is unacceptable.
“We have brought this case to a successful outcome by dedicated hard work and professionalism.”