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UK: Recyclet Directors given 200 hours of unpaid work for waste offences

"Company directors should take note that the Environment Agency will prosecute where they are responsible for actions that breach regulations"

On 22 August 2012, Dennis Owen, Alastair Sherry and David Brown pleaded guilty at Scunthorpe Magistrates' Court to Director Liability offences.

These were in relation to their company Recyclet Ltd (now in liquidation) which operated a regulated waste facility without an environmental permit.

The three directors each received 200 hours of unpaid work, were each ordered to pay costs of £4468, and were all disqualified from being a director of a company for five years.

The charges were brought by the Environment Agency under the Environmental Permitting Regulations 2010.

Recyclet Ltd. was founded in April 2007 by the directors to process and treat waste plasterboard for recycling.
This case involves the deposit of approximately 3500 tonnes of plasterboard at a site on Sterling Business Park on the Foxhills Industrial Estate, Scunthorpe.

The company had been operating under a permit for units 1, 3 and 4 at the Sterling Business Park, but did not apply for permit relating to Highbay Unit 1 which was being used for the deposit and storage of controlled waste. Dennis Owen and Alastair Sherry both signed a contract to occupy Highbay Unit 1 in September 2009, but they failed to notify the Environment Agency that they would be storing waste plasterboard in this building or to apply for an environmental permit.

In December 2010, the Environment Agency was alerted to the fact that the company was using Highbay Unit 1 to deposit waste plasterboard. Environment Officers attended the site in January 2011 and saw the unit stacked with palletised and broken plasterboard.

Dennis Owen was formally interviewed on behalf of Recyclet Ltd on 4 May 2011, and he admitted that the company was aware that the occupation of the unit to store waste plasterboard was not covered by their environmental permit. He also accepted that the Environment Agency was not consulted about that unit.

Speaking after the case, an Environment Agency officer in charge of the investigation said:

"It is the responsibility of a director to ensure that their company complies with environmental regulations. Company directors should take note that the Environment Agency will prosecute where they are responsible for actions that breach regulations and cause pollution."


In mitigation, it was stated that the directors accepted they had made a mistake, and had pleaded guilty at the first opportunity.