Pet food firm’s fine for buried biscuits
A PET food firm has been fined £10,000 for illegally dumping 18 tons of dog biscuits.
Belton-based Welham Estates Ltd was handed the fine after being prosecuted by North Lincolnshire Council for dumping the waste without permission in breach of environmental laws.
The company pleaded guilty to one count of depositing controlled waste without a permit, after officers from the council paid a visit to the site in December last year.
On the visit to Belton Business Park in Epworth Road, the officers discovered a large digger next to the factory and crates stacked with sacks full of dog biscuits next to a deep hole in the ground.
A large amount of dog biscuits had already been dumped in the hole and the digger driver appeared to be having a break.
The officers were told the company was not doing anything wrong and was just disposing of dog biscuits that were no longer any good.
The council officers gave clear instructions to stop and not to bury anymore biscuits.
Six days later an officer from the council’s trading standards department visited the site to check if any offences had been committed, but by then the biscuits had been buried.
When asked about the biscuits the firm responded that they had gone mouldy after being kept in a warehouse.
It would have cost the company about £2,000 to dispose of this waste through a legitimate waste operator.
Coun Nigel Sherwood, cabinet member for neighbourhoods at North Lincolnshire Council, said after the case: “Welham Estates Ltd was prosecuted by the council a year ago for not complying with the conditions of its permit after we received complaints of a bad smell emanating from its premises.
“That time the company pleaded guilty and was fined £2,000 plus £1,000 costs.
“The council worked with the company to help resolve the problem so it’s disappointing that it hasn’t learnt from its past mistakes.
“Businesses have a duty of care to dispose of waste responsibly at an authorised facility.
“It is simply not acceptable for waste to be dumped or fly-tipped in order to avoid paying legitimate disposal costs.
“This type of illegal activity undermines legitimate businesses and poses a risk to people and to the environment.”
In addition to being handed the £10,000 fine, the firm was ordered to pay £330 in costs and a victim surcharge of £15 by Scunthorpe Magistrates’ Court.
Welham Estate’s managing director Wesley Smith expressed his disappointment at North Lincolnshire Council’s decision to pursue this matter, and the verdict, but was unable to comment further before the Epworth Bells went to press,
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