Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Fly-tippers could put your business at risk

Business owners have been warned that fly-tippers could land them in jail if company waste is dumped illegally.

The Environment Agency has stepped up its campaign in the last few months to track down anyone who breaks waste management rules.

And now, our senior partner, Graham Davies, says a court case against a Wirral-based firm which disposed of hazardous waste in Shropshire, Yorkshire and Lancashire, has brought the rules into sharp focus.

"When it comes to disposing of your company's waste, the law is very strict and the consequences of breaking it are extremely tough. In the court case involving the waste dumped in Shropshire, the managing director of the firm admitted eight offences and was sent to prison for 18 months."

And Graham said directors of companies must also take care that anyone who handles their business waste is properly licensed.

"As a director, you have a duty of care to ensure waste taken away from your company premises is collected and disposed of properly by a legitimate waste contractor. If you allow just anyone to take it away, particularly if it is hazardous waste, you could be held liable and face fines of up to £20,000."

Graham said not only must directors check how their company waste was being handled, they must also keep full records of anything taken away.

"Don't think you can take the easy option either of just setting up your own disposal area in a corner of your company yard and pile up the rubbish there. You'll need a licence from the Environment Agency which will include rules on setting up and running a site, including how much and what types of waste you can deal with.

"This court case is a clear warning that company directors must be fully aware of just how the waste their business produces is handled, and that they will be held personally responsible if things are not dealt with properly."