Boston businessman fined after illegally burning waste
A BOSTON businessman and his company have been fined £40,000 for illegally burning waste.
Aerial photos recorded several fires at the Boston waste transfer station, Forceshift (Contracting) Ltd, after owner Ronnie Bennett had been warned not to burn waste there.
Bennett and his company were fined £26,000 after pleading guilty to breaching a permit condition and failing to prevent others setting fire to waste that should have been disposed of properly. They have also been ordered to pay costs of £14,000.
Boston Magistrates' Court heard that after a large fire on the site in November 2010 Bennett and the company were warned not to burn waste as it was against the law. They had claimed the fire started with a stray firework.
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Ruby Hamid, prosecuting for the Environment Agency, said a new site management plan was drawn up, but that in 2011 there was evidence of at least 12 more fires at the site.
On different occasions Environment Agency officers described seeing bright orange flames several metres high, black smoke and flames two to three metres high, and large plumes of black smoke smelling strongly of burning plastics and rubber.
Aerial photos taken on four separate occasions recorded fires and machinery being used to put more waste on the fires. Debris seen at fire sites included wood, metal and plastic sheeting.
Richard Banwell, representing Bennett and Forceshift, said improvements had been made to the site and an employee had obtained a waste management qualification.
After the hearing Environment Agency senior manager Norman Robinson said: "Companies who flout the law and impact on the environment and neighbours will be caught and prosecuted.
"Tonnes of waste were burned illegally for months without concern, releasing pollution to air and a smoke plume visible for miles. Any company acting in this way risks court action. We will continue to monitor this site."