An Essex-based operator has been prosecuted after a waste pile at its site was discovered to be more than double the height it was allowed.
Unprocessed mixed waste was found overflowing from a shed by approximately 30m at Connect Waste Management UK’s Rainham site. The shed was filled to the roof, which was around 10m high, despite a 4.5m maximum height restriction in place for waste stored at the site.
Officers from the Environment Agency, which prosecuted the operator, witnessed smoke leaving the site after reports of fires in April and May 2014.
The site surface was also damaged in some places. It was supposed to be covered with impermeable concrete to protect a local brook and a site of special scientific interest from polluting substances.
The firm had previously been issued a warning for non-compliance at the Rainham site.
Both the company and director Samantha Jones pleaded guilty to breaching waste management regulations at Snaresbrook Crown Court on 8 November.
Connect Waste Management UK, which holds an O-licence for 12 vehicles and three trailers, was fined £6,000 and must pay £8,000 in costs. Jones was fined £2,136 with £4,000 in costs.
Environment officer Holly Watson said: “It was clear from the site visit by Environment Agency officers that the company had breached its permit conditions and its management systems including, amongst other things, the height of waste stored which has the potential to ignite and cause terrible damage to the environment, as well as the health and safety of staff and nearby businesses.”