United Kingdom – Two family-owned metal recyclers have incurred large fines after routine inspections at the port of Felixstowe revealed they were illegally attempting to export 259 tonnes of mixed waste to China.
BW Riddle had supposedly loaded 10 containers with ‘aluminium from construction and demolition waste’ at its vehicle dismantling and metal recycling site in Bourne, Lincolnshire. Officials issued a fine of Euro 5 800, the maximum allowed for shipping offences of this type, for breaching health and environmental regulations and for failure to provide the correct paperwork. The company was charged an additional Euro 4 700 for failing in its duty of care.
The second guilty party was Chungs UK Ltd, which sources waste metal and plastic mainly for export to China. The company pleaded guilty and received the same maximum fine. Both businesses were also ordered to pay Euro 7 700 in costs.
After the hearing, Environment Agency officer Claire Parker commented that such cases were a ‘top priority’, adding: ‘The law is clear – it is always illegal to export waste from the UK for disposal, only for recycling.’