Heanor company director fined after his waste company breaches environmental laws and blights community with dust

Court hearing.
Court hearing.

A Heanor company director has been fined thousands of pounds after his firm flouted environmental laws and blighted a community with dust.

Ryan Colson, of Westfield Avenue, and his company Colson Transport Limited - a waste transfer company in Old Basford, Nottingham - were fined £38,000 at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court for breaching conditions of an environmental permit over a 19-month period.

Magistrates were told that the volume of waste passing through the site increased significantly after his firm took over the site - leading to dust escaping odour problems developing.

Tim Pole, prosecuting on behalf of the Environment Agency, told the court that the failure to comply with the environmental permit and storing waste on site in inappropriate ways led to a significant impact on the community.

The court was told that the nature, number and frequency of the complaints to the Environment Agency demonstrated the negative impact that Colson’s poor management of the site had on the lives of residents.

Colson Transport Ltd and Colson had a history of non-compliance and had received a written warning from the Environment Agency prior to the commencement of the prosecution - but Colson failed to consistently operate the site in compliance with the permit.

Colson and Colson Transport Ltd co-operated with the investigation and showed evidence of taking steps to remedy the problems on site.

There was investment of approximately £350,000 into the site and there was an acceptance of responsibility.

District Judge Tim Spruce found that residents had suffered because of the dust and odour problems from the site - although he found that they did not pose a health risk.

The length of time that the breaches spanned was an aggravating feature as was the history of non-compliance.

However, the District Judge noted the character references provided and found that Colson Transport Ltd was a ‘responsible waste management operation’.

The District Judge found that there was no financial gain to Colson Transport Ltd or to Ryan Colson as a result of the permit breaches.

Speaking after the hearing, environment officer Everal Burrell said: “The Environment Agency works hard to protect people and the environment while supporting the vast majority of businesses that operate responsibly.

“This case demonstrates that we will take action against those who do not operate their business within the confines of relevant regulations.

“We hope this case will serve as an example and a warning for other operators to take their responsibilities seriously. We are determined to take actions against those who don’t.”

Colson and his company were also told to pay costs of £33,000.