Lincolnshire-based company fined for illegal waste activities


Whites Recycling Limited was fined £36,000 for breaching an environmental permit and unlawfully storing waste.

The Court fined the food waste recycling company £36,000 and further ordered the company to pay a statutory surcharge of £170, and the Environment Agency’s investigation and legal costs of £38,008.17.

The Whites Recycling Limited pled guilty to 8 offences related to the spreading and storage of waste at 3 sites in South Yorkshire and Lincolnshire and were fined in a sentencing case heard at Doncaster Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday 16 November 2022.

The 8 offences include the breach of environmental permit conditions related to the spreading of waste to farmland in Auckley and Blaxton, Doncaster, and Susworth, Lincolnshire, contrary to the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2016.

Doncaster Magistrates’ Court heard that Whites Recycling Limited, in breach of its environmental permit, spread liquid waste to fields near Ivy House Farm, Auckley between March and May 2018; to Acomb Farm, Blaxton in November and December 2018; and to East Ferry Road, Susworth, Lincolnshire in November and December 2019.

Operators must follow the correct procedures to ensure they spread safely, in accordance with their environmental permits.

Liquid wastes containing nitrogen and phosphates were spread on land by the company at the wrong time of year or in excessive quantities, which posed a risk of pollution to groundwater. In addition, the Lincolnshire-based company pleaded guilty to illegally storing liquid waste in a storage tank on Acomb Farm between July 2017 and April 2018.

In passing sentence, District Judge Young stated that the company had been negligent, in that it had failed to take reasonable care to put in place and enforce proper systems for avoiding the offences; however, the court acknowledged that the company had reviewed its systems and steps had been taken designed to avoid further offending.

The court stated that it had to balance the need to bring home to the company’s management and shareholders the need to improve regulatory compliance, with the fact that the company had recently been operating at a loss.

After the sentencing, Area Environment Manager Steve Lawrie, said: “We hope this case sends a message to other land spreading operators and farmers that we take land spreading offences very seriously.

“Operators must follow the correct procedures to ensure they spread safely, in accordance with their environmental permits.”

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