Why an Ashford waste management firm was fined £25,000

At Brantlegh Waste we take great pride in our service and work hard to ensure all the rubbish we collect is carefully disposed. Our team appreciate that every cause has an effect and this is never more so important than in the waste management industry. Faced with global warming and ever depleting resources we make sure all our rubbish is disposed in accordance with the latest legislation as well as in the safest safe and most secure way possible. We take every precaution to constantly training our staff as well as monitoring and tracking all of our activity.
However, recently a waste transferal company based in Ashford was fined for illegally burning large quantities of wood at two separate farms. Advertising as a waste transfer company the business accepts wastes for sorting and treatment which is then sent for disposal or recycling. However, charges were brought against the company following a complaint to Maidstone Borough Council in November 2012. This initial complaint led to an inspection by the Environment Agency where evidence of burnt waste was found. A further investigation found that company vehicles had been illegally depositing waste wood, which was then burnt either by their drivers or by others at the scene.

Source: Peak Waste Recycling
Whilst Director Richard Monks neither instructed nor encouraged his drivers to burn the waste wood, he admitted to turning a blind eye to the activity. During proceedings he was commended for accepting responsibility at the very beginning of the trial. And, in fact, his good character was praised by District Judge Baron.
However, due to the extent of the illegal activity, and the damage it could cause all involved received serious fines. Richard Monks was fined £14,000 whilst his employee Andrew Malyan was ordered to pay £6,689 and Robert Clark, a farm manager, was fined £4,000.
Environment manager Alan Cansdale commented, “their actions showed blatant disregard for the environment. Waste crime can undermine legitimate business.”
At Brantlegh Waste all our wood is either turned into compost or recycled. Unfortunately, according to this article in All Recycling Facts only around 16 to 20% of wood is recycled annually. This is a shocking statistic, especially given the size of wood (which can take up a considerable amount of space in landfill sites.) It is also an extremely valuable commodity which can be repurposed for great benefit. In fact, when wood is recycled it has a lower moisture content than the raw material which makes it far more durable. And, of course, as consumers become more environmentally conscious more and more of us are buying products that feature wonderful words like “sustainable” and “environmentally friendly.” In this day age recycling just makes good business sense. And yet 6 tonnes of waste wood ends up in landfills each year.
Recycling wood could also work towards preventing deforestation. Save our Trees is not simply an anthem for hippies. Deforestation is a serious problem which has significant environmental ramifications including soil erosion, increasing greenhouse gasses and wildlife extinction.
If you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to contact one of our friendly advisors at Brantlegh Waste on 0333 800 616.