Killamarsh firm left with £38,000 fine

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A Sheffield businessman has said his firm has had to ‘bear the brunt’ of a former director’s mistake after it was fined £38,000.

Tank Industrial Maintenance Limited, based in Killamarsh and now under new management, was fined after more than 2,000 tonnes of liquid waste were spread without proper permits in place.

The firm - which specialises in the removal of liquid food waste - and former company director Timothy Rowley pleaded guilty to eight offences relating to illegal land spreading activities at two farms in Doncaster and Worksop in 2013.

The company admitted a further offence of failing to ensure land spreading activities were overseen by a technically competent person.

At all times, Timothy Rowley, aged 39, from Wales, Sheffield, was in charge of land spreading operations in his capacity as director.

Mark Hewitt, who is the owner of the business, said: “We are now under new management and have had to pick up the pieces. We have taken it on the chin and carried on.

“The new management hasn’t been convicted but we have had to bear the brunt of what happened and pay the fine.

“The company goes on and that’s all that matters to us so we can still serve our customers.”

The charges were brought by the Environment Agency after some 2,023 tonnes of liquid food waste were spread on fields at Baxter Farm, Doncaster and Clumber Farm, Worksop without the proper paperwork.

In order to maintain the company’s contracts with the waste producers, Mr Rowley had taken a commercial decision to spread food waste to land as the company had collected too much liquid waste from the producers.

Due to a combination of inadequate storage capacity and inclement weather conditions, the company found itself with excessive liquid waste and nowhere for it to go.

In these circumstances, the company took the commercial decision to spread the waste to land illegally.

Mr Rowley was disqualified as a director for four years, fined £1,000 and ordered to pay a contribution towards prosecution costs.

After the sentencing at Nottingham Crown Court, Richard Moore of the Environment Agency said: “Our rules are in place for a good reason and to ensure that any waste that is spread is done correctly and managed in a way that protects the environment. We will not hesitate to take enforcement action in future for those who breach their permits and refuse to co-operate.

“I hope that this case sends out a message to other landspreading operators and farmers who receive waste, that we take landspreading offences very seriously.

“I would urge farmers who receive waste to find out what is going on, on their land.”