Former company Director sentenced to undertake 200 hours unpaid work for breaching environmental legislation

date20 December 2016

Former company director of Platinum Waste Solutions Limited, Sarah Nisbet has been sentenced (19 December, 2016) to undertake 200 hours unpaid work within a 6 month period and is subject to supervision for 18 months as an alternative to a custodial sentence, for breaching waste management legislation.

Ms Nisbet pled guilty on 5 June 2015 at Hamilton Sheriff Court to a charge of storing waste at the company’s site at Burnbrae Road, Shotts over the period 29 January to 5 August 2014, without the proper authorisation from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), while the company (now dissolved) pled guilty to a charge of failing to adequately complete Waste Transfer Notes for the transfer of waste on various dates between 1 October 2013 and 19 February 2014. 

On 11 November 2016, Sarah Nisbet was also handed a Confiscation Order of £16,546.50 under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

A series of inspections carried out by SEPA officers in January 2014, found that skips full of mixed waste containing construction and demolition materials and household waste had been stored at the company’s site contrary to the requirements of the Waste Management Licensing exemptions registered for the site. In addition, many of the Waste Transfer Notes provided to SEPA by the company (in response to a notice served under Section 34 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 requesting these) had not been filled in correctly, with important information such as the quantity of waste omitted. 

A notice under Section 59 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 was served on Platinum Waste Solutions Limited which required the removal of all non-compliant waste from the site. However only some of the waste was removed by the company, therefore SEPA submitted a report to the Procurator Fiscal recommending the prosecution of both the company and Ms Nisbet. 

Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 all parties who import, produce, keep or manage waste have a  duty of care to ensure that  accurate Waste Transfer Notes are completed containing details such as the type and quantity of waste transferred to  minimise the risk of waste being deposited illegally.

Calum MacDonald, Executive Director, Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), said:


 sentence sends out a clear message that environmental crime in Scotland will not be tolerated. Compliance for regulated businesses is non-negotiable and we will continue to take proportionate and effective action to tackle and disrupt environmental crime activity that has the potential to damage the environment.

“This outcome is also a tangible demonstration of successful collaborative working with Police Scotland and early evidence of the benefits of SEPA embedding staff within the Scottish Crime Campus in Gartcosh. The Police-led drugs operation, Operation Lapstone, led to the conviction and sentencing on 9 October 2015 of James Nisbet and six others resulting in the recovery of £1.1 m of illegal drugs and a combined sentence of 48 years and 10 months imprisonment on Nisbet and his associates. It was noted during these proceedings that Platinum Waste Solutions Limited in Shotts was being used as a ‘front’ to mask significant drug dealing activity.

“The Scottish Government’s Serious Organised Crime Strategy highlights penetration by Serious Organised Crime Groups in legitimate business sectors as a new threat, specifically identifying the Waste Industry as a target of this criminal activity in Scotland. Operation Lapstone provided clear evidence that this threat is manifest and we will continue to work with the police and our other partners within the Environmental Crime Taskforce to tackle these individuals and groups to combat the threat posed on the legitimate industry within Scotland.”


Notes to editors

The exact charges which Platinum Waste Solutions Limited (Charge 3) and Sarah Nisbet (Charge 1) pled guilty to are below:

1          Between 29 January 2014 and 5 August 2014 both dates inclusive at 34 Burnbrae Road, Shotts, ML7 5DW you Platinum Waste Solutions Limited and Sarah NISBET did keep controlled waste, namely inter alia unsegregated mixed waste contained in skips and unsegregated construction and demolition waste, tyres, plastic, polystyrene, bales of municipal solid waste, food waste, cathode ray tube monitors, metal, wood, soil, rubble, liquid waste, car batteries, an end of life vehicle, packaging, carpets, furniture, road plannings in or on said land otherwise than in accordance with a waste management licence in that you did keep said waste in or on said land when no waste management licence was in force authorising such keeping CONTRARY to the Environmental Protection Act 1990, Section 33(1)(b)(i)

3          You, Platinum Waste Solutions Limited, being a transferor and a transferee of controlled waste within the meaning of regulation 1 of the aftermentioned regulations, in that you are the person who is subject to the duty imposed by section 34(1) of the aftermentioned act and did transfer and receive a written description of controlled waste, in relation to transfers of controlled waste, namely commercial trade waste including builder’s waste, inert waste (rubble), general waste, cardboard did fail  between 1st October 2013 and 19th February 2014 both dates inclusive at a) 30 Hawthorn Drive, Torbothie on 2 October 2013 b) 18 Hillhouseridge Road, Shotts on 1 October 2013 c) Cleland Road, Wishaw on 2 October 2013 (d) Allanton Primary School, Allanton Road, Allanton on 3, 7 and 8 October 2013 (e) Skids, 11 Crinan Place, Bellshill ML4 2LZ on 9 and 15 October 2013 (f) Forsyth, Hareston Industrial Estate, Carluke on 10 October 2013 (g) Dan Wood, Rannoch House, 17 Shairps Business Park Livingstone on 11 December 2013 (h) I Wilson, 43 Cleland Road, Wishaw on 11 December 2013 (i) Lareine Engineering, Unit 1 Armadale Industrial Estate, Armadale on 19 February 2014 (j) JMJ Engineering Whitehall Industrial Estate, Bathgate and at 34 Burnbrae road, Shotts ML7 5DW to complete a transfer note within the meaning of regulation 2(1) of said regulations in accordance with the provisions of regulation 2(2) of said regulations in that you did fail to complete a quantity of waste transfer notes at the same time as the transfer of the said waste by failing to include details in said transfer notes of the quantity of waste being transferred and whether on transfer it was loose or in a container CONTRARY to the Environmental Protection (Duty of Care) Regulations 1991, Regulation 2(2)(a)(i) and (ii) and the Environmental Protection Act 1990, section 34(6).