Waste firm to pay more than £30k after breaking law

A waste recycling firm and two of its directors have been ordered to pay more than £32,450 in fines and costs. Churngold Recycling, based in Bristol, illegally supplied thousands of tonnes […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

A waste recycling firm and two of its directors have been ordered to pay more than £32,450 in fines and costs.

Churngold Recycling, based in Bristol, illegally supplied thousands of tonnes of hazardous waste to a building site after claiming it had been treated.

The firm, ran by John Barcham and Lee Phelan, removed hazardous waste from a BMW site after the carmaker discovered soil contaminated with heavy metals, hydrocarbons and asbestos contaminated materials.

It was paid to take this material to its site and treat it – it didn’t treat it and also broke laws on the volume of storage and how this material was kept.

The company then sent the harmful material to be used in the construction of a Co-op supermarket distribution centre.

Ground-workers at the site said the Churngold Recycling material gave them “runny and sore eyes”, one adding it smelt like “faeces and bleach” and “took his breath away”.

Later analysis revealed the presence of asbestos in 47 of 60 samples, as well as harmful chemicals and heavy metals that posed a risk to groundwater and nearby watercourses, as well as to workers.

An Environment Agency investigation revealed the firm had also illegally disposed of other hazardous waste including asbestos, railway sleepers, plastic, metal pipes, vehicle tyres and foam pipe lagging.

Adrian Evans from the Environment Agency said: “Churngold Recycling Ltd had a culture where commercial gain was given priority over environmental protection.”