Former waste operator fined £700 for breaching environmental licence

date10 July 2015

Former waste operator, John Burnett has been fined a total of £700 (9th July 2015) at Edinburgh Sheriff Court, after being found guilty of breaching the conditions of a Waste Management Licence (WML) which was held for a site, occupied by Dalkeith Demolition Limited, on the Mayfield Industrial Estate in Dalkeith.

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Mr Burnett, a former director of Dalkeith Demolition Limited, was reported to the Procurator Fiscal’s Office by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) following repeated attempts to ensure the storage of waste on an impermeable surface, as stipulated under the terms of the licence.

SEPA officers carried out regular site inspections of the Dalkeith Demolition Limited site whilst the company was operating between 2007 and 2011, to assess the operator’s compliance with the conditions of the WML. The site received a “poor” rating on the 11 March 2011 under SEPA’s compliance assessment scheme, where it was found that waste was being stored on an area of the site that had not been surfaced adequately. In consultation with Mr Burnett, a four month period was granted to remedy this and a letter was issued by SEPA to confirm this on 23 March, 2011.

Any waste which is not stored on an impermeable surface has the potential to pollute the surrounding landscape and cause serious environmental harm to the local area. Following the agreed four month period, a further inspection on 01 August, 2011, found that a quantity of waste was still being stored on an inappropriate area of the site.

Thereafter, during a site inspection on the 24 August 2011, SEPA officers noted the quantity of waste on site exceeded the licence limit of 1000 tonnes and a significant amount of waste was sitting out with the impermeable surface area. This remained unchanged until Dalkeith Demolition Limited went into voluntary liquidation in January 2012. A large quantity of waste was left behind at the site.

SEPA’s reporting officer Michael Smith, said:

Despite repeatedly advising Mr Burnett that waste needed to be stored on an appropriate site surface this did not materialise and as a result there was a risk of damage to the environment

“By continuing to accept and store waste on areas of the site where there was clearly no capacity, Mr Burnett blatantly chose to disregard the terms of the licence and risk contaminating the local environment.”

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Notes to editors –


  • Between 1 August 2011 and 12 January 2012 at a site at Mayfield Industrial Estate, Dalkeith EH22 4AH as delineated on said plan attached you JOHN YATES BURNETT, being the operator of waste management licence WML/E/000094, did contravene condition 2.4 of said licence which states that the sorting and bulking of waste and the storage of waste (other than waste refrigerators and waste freezers which shall be subject to storage and treatment procedures detailed in section 4 and section 5) shall be undertaken on an impermeable pavement, in that you did fail to store a quantity of mixed construction, demolition and household waste on an a impermeable pavement;

CONTRARY to the Environmental Protection Act 1990, section 33(6).

  • Between 23 August 2011 and 12 January 2012 at a site at Mayfield Industrial Estate, Dalkeith EH22 4AH as delineated on said plan attached you JOHN YATES BURNETT, being the operator of waste management licence WML/E/000094, did contravene condition 1.6 of said licence which states inter alia that the operation of the site shall be carried out at all times in full accordance with a working plan submitted by the licence holder and approved by SEPA, in that you  did fail to operate said site in accordance with said working plan and did store in excess of 1000 tonnes of waste on site;

CONTRARY to the Environmental Protection Act 1990, section 33(6).