Hefty fine for composting site director who failed to follow standards

PUBLISHED: 18:17 14 October 2009 | UPDATED: 14:33 06 May 2010

STORING too much waste and leaving it prone to fires has cost the director of a local composting facility more than £83,000. Adrian Lupson, of EQ Waste Management Ltd in Appspond Lane, Potters Crouch, pleaded guilty to three charges relating to the keepin

STORING too much waste and leaving it prone to fires has cost the director of a local composting facility more than £83,000.

Adrian Lupson, of EQ Waste Management Ltd in Appspond Lane, Potters Crouch, pleaded guilty to three charges relating to the keeping, treating and depositing of controlled waste at a hearing in February.

At a subsequent hearing on October 9, Mr Lupson, whose company is now in liquidation, was fined a total of £17,050 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £66,221.

The management of the site had fallen short of the necessary standards required by its waste management licence, which permitted the treatment and recovery of green waste.

Numerous fires had broken out at different locations around the site - which is bordered by the M1, A414 and the Hemel Hempstead Road - causing smoke and odour problems as the waste was stored incorrectly.

This included the storage of waste in heaps and the failure of "turning" it to allow composting throughout the pile.

This leads to a lack of control of the temperature and risks a fire breaking out.

Nor was the waste, which included grass cuttings and tree branches, shredded or treated and the site's drainage system didn't operate properly.

Environment officers found large areas of the site had broken surfaces and it was often flooded by contaminated surface water. There was also contaminated water near the drainage tanks and water had even overflowed onto the neighbouring site.

There was no fencing along some parts of the site boundary and other sections were insecure, which left it vulnerable to the entry of unauthorised people who could cause harm to themselves or the environment.

Senior environment officer, Victoria Owen, said: "EQ Waste Management Ltd and Mr Lupson failed to take their composting waste management responsibilities seriously.

"In order to protect the environment and ensure the correct disposal of waste, companies storing and treating waste must have an environmental permit, previously called a waste management licence.

She added: "By not complying with conditions of the permit, companies are acting illegally. They risk damaging the local environment, and are undercutting legitimate businesses.

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