Waste recycling firm given highest confiscation order for environmental offences in Scotland

date15 February 2016

Alloa based recycling firm, Oran Environmental Solutions (OES) Ltd, has been handed a confiscation order of £345,558.43 today (15 February) for licence breaches which resulted in SEPA receiving numerous complaints from local residents during 2013.

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The confiscation order is the largest result under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) to date for environmental offences in Scotland and was imposed in addition to fines amounting to £12,000 for waste related offences.

POCA recovers the financial benefit made by those undertaking criminal activity. In addition to the confiscation, OES Ltd was fined for three charges of non-compliance to which they pled guilty on 16 February 2015.

The charges related to the company’s failure to remove waste materials from their Kilbagie Mill site following enforcement action by SEPA, storing controlled waste on land not covered by a Waste Management Licence and failing to carry out adequate pest control measures at the facility.  

Calum MacDonald, SEPA’s Executive Director, said:

“We note the sentence handed out today against Oran Environmental Solutions Ltd. and confiscation order for £345,558.43, the largest single POCA confiscation for environmental crime in Scotland to date. This sends out a clear and unequivocal message that environmental crime will not be tolerated and that SEPA will with its partners pursue those who seek to profit from waste crime.

“Compliance within the waste industry is non-negotiable and we will continue to take effective and proportionate action as required to tackle non-compliant waste operators. The confiscation order reflects the costs avoided by the company in undertaking these illegal activities and is the result of close collaborative working arrangements between SEPA and the Crown Office."

During the course of inspections in 2013, SEPA officers identified that OES Ltd were using an unlicensed area of their site to store additional waste. The main site was at capacity and as a result existing stockpiles had begun to be kept out with the boundaries of the licenced site.

In an effort to ensure compliance at Kilbagie Mill, two Enforcement Notices were served in May 2013. These required OES Ltd to cease accepting waste and also remove the backlog of stockpiled waste.. As a result of these notices not being complied with, SEPA partially suspended the site’s Waste Management Licence to prohibit the acceptance of more waste. Further enforcement action was also taken to ensure that waste on unlicensed areas of the site was removed.

The backlog of waste resulted in SEPA receiving numerous complaints from local residents during 2013 regarding pest control at the facility, including the increased presence of vermin, flies and birds. Many of the complaints noted that residents felt the facility had unfairly impacted on the local community.

Given the potential impact on the local environment which the licence breaches posed together with the uncooperative nature of OES Ltd, SEPA referred the case to the Procurator Fiscal for consideration.  

Ends

Notes to editors

OES Ltd pled guilty to the following charges:

  • On 23 May 2013 at Kilbagie Mill, Alloa, Clackmanashire, FK10 4DY you ORAN ENVIRONMENTAL SOLUTIONS LIMITED being the occupier of said land, did without reasonable excuse fail to comply with a requirement imposed under Section 59(1) (a) of the aftermentioned Act in that you did fail to remove controlled wastes namely mixed wastes which included food and drinks packaging, black bag waste, plastic packaging, wood, sawdust, cardboard, aluminium cans, paper, cables,  waste fines, metals, wood, plastics, textiles, wooden pallets, metal drums, builders sacking, metal scaffolding, cement, plastic gloves, partially baled and partially wrapped unsegregated household and commercial waste which included carrier bags, metal drinks cans, milk cartons and plastic soft drink containers; tents, sleeping bags, tent poles, textiles, plastic bags, demolition rubble, bricks and concrete, having been required to do so in a notice served on you under said section by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency on 23 April 2013; CONTRARY to the Environmental Protection Act 1990, Section 59(1)(a) and Section 59(5).

 

  • Between 23 May 2013 to 14 August 2013 at Kilbagie Mill, Alloa, Clackmanashire, FK10 4DY you ORAN ENVIRONMENTAL SOLUTIONS LIMITED did did keep controlled waste, namely food and drinks packaging, black bag waste, plastic packaging, wood, sawdust, cardboard, aluminium cans , paper, cables,  waste fines, metals, wood, plastics, textiles, wooden pallets, metal drums, builders sacking, metal scaffolding, cement, plastic gloves, partially baled and partially wrapped unsegregated household and commercial waste which included carrier bags, metal drinks cans, milk cartons and plastic soft drink containers, tents, sleeping bags, tent poles, textiles, plastic bags, demolition rubble, bricks and concrete to be on said land otherwise than in accordance with a waste management licence in that you did keep said waste on said land otherwise than in accordance with a waste management licence in that you did keep said waste 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).

 

  • Between 29 December 2012 and 14 July 2013  at Kilbagie Mill, Kennet, Clackmnnashire, FK10 4DY you ORAN ENVIRONMENTAL SOLUTIONS LIMITED, being the holder of waste management licence WML/L/110717 did contravene condition 1.1.1 which states that unsegregated waste containing putrescible materials shall not remain on the licensed site for a period exceeding 24 hours and non-putrescible unsegregated waste awaiting treatment shall not remain on the licensed site for a period exceeding 7 days in that you did keep putrescible and non-putrescible waste on said site; and between 2 May 2013 and 14 July 2013 you did contravene condition 5.6.1. of said licence which states that all site operations shall be carried out so as to minimise the presence of insects, birds and vermin in that between said dates stockpiles of waste were kept in such a menner that was likely to encourage the presence of insects vermin and birds; CONTRARY to the Environmental Protection Act 1990 Section 33(6)