Quarry company fined for dumping hazardous waste

Environment Agency


A Cornish Waste disposal company has been ordered to pay £26,500 in fines and costs for illegally handling and disposing hazardous waste.

In a case brought by the Environment Agency (EA), Glebe Quarry was ordered to pay £17,000 compensation to a local farmer after waste contaminated with asbestos was dumped on his land. The company, 1st Call Skips, operates a permitted waste transfer station at Glebe Quarry near Roche, St Austell.

In December 2017, the company pleaded guilty to five offences at Truro Crown Court. The offences occurred at three sites in Cornwall, including the company’s waste transfer station, a nearby farm and a site operated by china clay company Imerys.

The EA had earlier advised the company to improve Glebe Quarry after drainage and concreting at the site was checked and found to be “inadequate”.

No action was taken so the EA issued an enforcement notice requesting that improvements works be carried out. Glebe Quarry appealed, but the appeal was dismissed by the Planning Inspectorate; forcing the company to carry out the improvements that were completed in November 2016.

Further checks by the EA found the company had unlawfully dumped more than 2,400 tonnes of waste, some of which was contaminated with asbestos, on land that was not authorised by its site permit. Glebe Quarry continued to illegally dump waste at the site despite being warned it would be committing an offence if it carried on.

In 2015, the defendant also sent waste to Imerys Minerals with product that should have been suitable for land improvements for restoring an area of china clay spoil heaps. However, it was later found to be contaminated with asbestos. The asbestos was discovered before the waste was spread and the loads were returned to Glebe Quarry.

Nearly 50 tonnes of hazardous material were removed by Glebe Quarry but were never traced as no paperwork was kept. Glebe Quarry also supplied waste to local farms for use in low-risk activities such as the construction of farm tracks. This was done under an exemption - an agreement that does not require a permit - but waste supplied to one farm was heavily contaminated with asbestos and cost nearly £120,000 to clean-up.

At Truro Crown Court, Glebe Quarry was fined £12,500 for offences under the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010, the Hazardous Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2005, and the Environmental Protection Act 1990. In addition to the financial penalty, the court ordered Glebe Quarry to inform the Environment Agency which sites it is sending its waste to and to remedy the sites it has polluted.