Airdrie builder fined for depositing and burning waste

date12 August 2016

An Airdrie builder was fined £2,000 at Airdrie Sheriff Court on Monday (8 August) after pleading guilty to waste offences at a site in Flowerhill Industrial Estate, Airdrie.

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Brian McKay pled guilty to depositing construction waste at the builder’s yard without a Waste Management Licence and failing to stop employees burning mixed construction and demolition waste, including pallets, a treated door, plastic, glass, barrels and wooden roof trusses. The matter was investigated by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and a report sent to the Procurator Fiscal.

On 30 April 2012 SEPA officers visited the site to investigate a complaint of smoke from the burning of waste causing a nuisance. They observed two men at the site putting soil onto the fire to put it out. There were approximately 10-15 skip loads on the ground consisting of mixed demolition waste, rubble, insulating foam, soil, plastics and plasterboard. A letter was sent to Mr McKay after the visit.

In April 2013 officers again attended the site in response to a complaint with regards to burning. They witnessed an individual tending the fire and were told that he had been employed to separate wood and plastic from the pile of waste to burn. Officers called the Fire Service and requested they attend, which they did.

Further site visits repeatedly showed that waste was still present and that further waste had been added, so in November 2013 SEPA served a Notice requiring the removal of the waste. Mr McKay accepted the Notice, signed an acknowledgement slip to confirm he had received it and said that he understood the waste had to be removed and that he intended to do so the next month. However, when officers visited the site in December 2013 to assess compliance with the Notice they found that there appeared to be more waste on site than there had been on their last visit.

Mark Greenhalgh, SEPA’s investigating officer, said:


e have been dealing with this site for several years and have given Mr McKay ample opportunity to stop the activity and remove waste from the site. It was made very clear to him that in order to accept construction and demolition waste onto the yard for storage or treatment he must first apply for a waste management licence.  He was also advised the manner in which waste was stored and subsequently disposed of by burning would not be permitted by any licence issued. This site is close to a residential area and the activity was detrimental to local amenities and the environment. We hope that this conviction will encourage similar businesses to ensure that they have full control of the wastes they produce and manage.”


Notes to editors

The charges Brian McKay pled guilty to were:

  • On 30th April 2012 and between 9th April 2013 and 25 February, 2014 both dates inclusive, at 36 Flowerhill Street, Flowerhill Industrial Estate, Airdrie, ML6 6AD you BRIAN MCKAY, being a person who keeps controlled waste, namely mixed construction and demolition waste and other controlled waste including pallets, a treated door, plastic panel, glass, barrels, wooden roof trusses, did fail to take all such measures applicable to you in that capacity as were reasonable in the circumstances to prevent the escape of waste from your control, in that b) on 30th April 2012 and 9th April 2013 people acting on your behalf intentionally set fire to said waste and c) on an occasion prior to the 14th January 2014 and on 25 February 2014 controlled waste was burned on land where you did keep said waste; Contrary to the Environmental Protection Act 1990, Section 34(1)(b) and (6).

  • Between 7th May 2013 and 11th February 2014, both dates inclusive, in or on land at 36 Flowerhill Street, Flowerhill Industrial Estate, Airdrie, ML6 6AD, you BRIAN MCKAY did deposit and knowingly permit to be deposited controlled waste, namely construction waste including inter alia tyres, bricks, blocks, waste wood, door frames, plastic sheeting, wooden pallets, general construction waste, glass, bath, soil, paper, cardboard, blue plastic piping, wooden roof trusses and plasterboard and in particular wooden roof trusses on or in said land without the authority of a waste management licence; Contrary to the Environmental Protection Act 1990, Section 33(1)(a) and (6) as amended.