Fine dumped on Biffa for banned waste exports

Environment Agency

Biffa Waste Services has been forced to pay almost £600,000 for exporting banned waste to China.

The company, one of the largest waste management firms in the UK, was found guilty in the summer of sending contaminated household waste, described as waste paper, to China between May and June 2015.

During an Environment Agency investigation, officers prevented seven 25-tonne containers at Felixstowe port from onward export.

The contents included soiled nappies, food packaging, clothing, bags of faeces and plastic bottles.

Exports of unsorted household recycling waste from the UK to China are banned.

At a hearing in Wood Green Crown Court last month, details of four further charges against Biffa illegally exporting 42 containers of waste from households and destined for India and Indonesia were heard.

The jury did not accept Biffa’s version of events that consignments leaving its depot in Edmonton four years ago complied with the law because they comprised of waste paper.

The court fined Biffa £350,000 and ordered that it pay costs of £240,000 and a further £9,912 under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

The EA has introduced a number of additional measures to tackle illegal exports including working closely with HMRC reviewing inconsistencies between customs information and packaging data, and creating an investigations team to target serious offenders.

Innovation invasion at Freight in the City Expo 2019


This year’s Freight in the City Expo is positively bursting at the seams with innovative technology focused on urban delivery fleets.

More than 65 exhibitors will be on hand in Alexandra Palace’s majestic Great Hall, with 30 brand-new to this year’s event bringing a wide range of new products to your attention.

Major OEMs DAF, Dennis Eagle, Iveco, Mercedes-Benz, Renault Trucks, Scania and Volvo Trucks will all have a presence at the show, with their latest city-focused product ranges.

Indeed, Volvo Trucks will be inviting visitors to say hello to Vera, its autonomous, connected electric vehicle making its UK debut at the show.


Meanwhile Renault Trucks will be showcasing its bold new Master Red edition range for the first time in the UK. Featuring new engines, interior and driver-assistance systems, it is available in panel van, minibus, chassis cab and platform cab in diesel and electric variants up to 4.5 tonnes.

Smaller independent manufacturers and converters will also be taking part, from Tevva Motors 7.5-tonne range-extended electric truck range, gaining momentum with UK operators such as UPS, through to start-up Volta Trucks showcasing its electric concept with a fun VR experience for visitors.

Hydrogen will be the focus over on the Ulemco stand where you’ll be able to see a ‘world first’ zero-emission converted tractor unit, with EMOSS highlighting a range of electric and hybrid solutions for city operations on its own booth.


Bradshaw Electric Vehicles will be back once more to Freight in the City Expo with its full range of industrial electric utility vehicles, while newcomer and UK start-up Electric Assisted Vehicles (EAV) will be highlighting its zero-emission bio-mechanical hybrid vehicles aimed at the final mile and used by parcels firm DPD in London.

There are also exciting new products in the body and trailer world, with YoYo MultiDrops on hand to show you how its multi-purpose urban system can slash loading and unloading time to a mere 80 seconds, while Fruehauf will be highlighting its Conveyor System for rigid and trailer models.


1st Webbing will be bringing along an innovative roll cage and thermal pallet cover range capable of protecting chilled and frozen product during ambient transport, which the firm said is an ideal, low-cost option for operating in clean air zones.

While Transcover will be highlighting a range of cyclist-friendly urban sheeting systems and NuVech Solutions will be exhibiting its exciting new AirBar system, a retractable safety device that forms a highly visible and effective barrier, raising awareness to oncoming road users.

This is just a small selection of what’s on show at this year’s Freight in the City Expo, in addition to a full day’s seminar programme.

So what are you waiting for? Register today for your free place to attend the urban logistics event of the year!