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Businessman banned and told to pay £36k costs over tons of waste

By John Scott | Walsall | Crime | Published:

A businessman at the helm of a firm that ran two sites where thousands of tons of household and wood waste created a major fire risk has been banned from working as a company director for five years and ordered to pay more than £36,000 costs.

Rubbish was stored so badly it was in danger of self combusting, sparking a blaze, the smoke from which could have disrupted the M5 and M6, a main rail line, homes, businesses and medical centres in the area, a judge heard.

The nearest house was just 10.5 metres away, Wolverhampton Crown Court was told.

Edward McIntosh was the sole director of Caledonian Waste Ltd – now dissolved – which controlled the sites at West Bromwich Road, Walsall, and Friar Park Road, Wednesbury.

It was granted a permit for the Walsall site in 2013 and in three months had 2,900 bales of household waste dumped there without any plan for it to be moved on.

It was kept for much longer than permitted, stored incorrectly, creating a major fire risk and did not have a management plan, said Mr Ben Mills, prosecuting.

McIntosh signed a voluntary improvement scheme involving the removal of some of the waste so the layout could be improved but ‘nothing significant’ happened despite repeated warnings, continued the prosecutor who concluded: “He behaved negligently.”

The defendant claimed he could not get cash from the company account to fund the work but paid himself for the removal of 80 bales, far fewer than the 800 required.

Repeated deadlines were broken and the site continued to operate after having its permit withdrawn.

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Others linked to the company allegedly footed the £250,000 to have it cleared last year.

Six days after McIntosh was interviewed in 2014 the company became involved in a wood waste facility in Friar Park Road and grossly exceeded the 500 tons of clean wood it was allowed.

Up to 1,500 tons of mixed wood was stored there while machines turned it into chip wood which was on land without permission.

Mr Mills said it would have cost up to £234,000 to lawfully dump the wood waste. Twenty leaking 200 litre oil drums increased the fire risk.

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Around 1,900 tons of wood were removed from the main site at a cost of £130,000 in April 2016 while 540 tons of wood chips and waste remain.

Miss Samantha Riggs, defending, said: “He has been negligent and should have done more.”

The defendant from Adams Hill, Birmingham, admitted seven breaches of environmental law.

John Scott

By John Scott
Reporter/News Feature Writer

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