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What a waste in home counties
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It has been revealed that three quarters of the schools in Sheffield have undergone rebuilding work, yet still contain asbestos.
An article published in The Construction Enquirer reported that Three Men, David Tuffen (Director), Nigel Hickman (Manager) & Moses Brede, all workers from AJ Bins and Waste Ltd pleaded guilty to running an illegal site at Towerfields Business Park in Benfleet by dumping waste asbestos. The report suggests that 72 large skips were found to contain a high level of asbestos waste.
All three men were given a range of prison sentences from 12 months to 2 years. However they were all suspended by Chelmsford Crown Court. Mr Tuffen & Mr Hickman were ordered to carry out 200 hours unpaid work. They both pleaded guilty of failing to prevent fly tipping of waste asbestos on six occasions (with seven more to be taken into consideration). Mr Brede, who was employed between February and May 2009 was ordered to pay £500 towards costs.
The firm supplied what they insisted were legitimate invoices and consignment notes. They believed that these invoices showed that the hazardous waste had been taken to and signed for by the appropriate authorities. It has been reported that a representative prosecuting for the Environmental Agency, told that officers had found white, blue and brown asbestos samples in all 72 skips in May 2009. All types of Asbestos (white, blue and brown) are dangerous and their use has now been banned in the UK. There is no known ‘safe’ level of asbestos exposure.
The Construction Enquirer reports that no evidence was found within the company office to show that legitimate disposal of waste had been carried out. They maintain that asbestos (361.7 tonnes) had been dumped across the Home Counties. The company cleared 361.7 tonnes of waste containing asbestos from the Towerfields site, at a cost of around £48,436.
Furthermore, Judge Charles Gratwicke, who carried out the sentencing stated that all 3 men "had not paid the slightest regard for regulations...flouted the law for financial gain putting public health at risk."
Following the sentencing, Lesley Robertson, the Environment Agency's environmental crime leader said “This case was made worse by the hazardous nature of the waste, namely three types of asbestos, which was being illegally stored at the site in Benfleet, further aggravated by the fact that the company the defendants operated claimed to be ‘specialist contractors for the disposal of asbestos waste’, preying on others’ trustworthiness.”
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