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Frozen veg firm pays £23k for illegal waste spreading

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

J E Hartley Limited submitted an Enforcement Undertaking to the Environment Agency, after illegally spreading waste sludge on its land
J E Hartley Limited submitted an Enforcement Undertaking to the Environment Agency, after illegally spreading waste sludge on its land

Related tags Agriculture

A producer of frozen vegetables for some of the UK’s biggest retailers has been ordered to pay more than £23k after spreading waste sludge on land illegally.

York-based J E Hartley Limited, of Roth Hill Lane, Thorganby, submitted an Enforcement Undertaking to the Environment Agency, after repeatedly spreading waste sludge on its land between March 2016 and February 2022 without permission.

The company has held a permit for spreading waste on its own land since 2016, waste created as a byproduct of the anaerobic digestate plant on site which produces a proportion of the company’s energy.

Under the conditions of the permit, J E Hartley Limited must make an application each time it wishes to spread waste, to say where it intends to spread waste, what type of waste, how much and when.

History of waste spreading

However, records showed that spreading took place every year from 2013 to 2021 in varying quantities from 2,664 tonnes to as much as 10,530 tonnes, but only four applications for spreading were made during this period and all were refused, needing additional information.

As a result, the company avoided paying applications fees which ranged from £760 to £1,718 each time. No environmental harm has been identified from the spreading carried out by the company.

Claire Barrow, area environment manager for North Yorkshire at the Environment Agency, said that in this instance JE Hartley Limited recognised that it had failed to comply with its environmental permit.

Offer accepted

“We deemed it appropriate to accept an Enforcement Undertaking offer, which ensured that all avoided application costs were donated to a project that will enhance, restore and protect England’s natural environment,”​ Barrow added.

“In some circumstances, Enforcement Undertakings can achieve a good resolution of our enforcement action, allowing the offender to put things right and help to improve our environment. This payment of £23,640 will do just that by supporting the work of the Yorkshire Dales Rivers Trust.”

The offer from JE Hartley Limited outlined that it will revise its land spreading procedures and not spread without permissions for spreading in place and cover the Environment Agency’s costs.

Meanwhile, a Wiltshire-based meat trader was fined more than £150k​ and given a custodial sentence after pleading guilty for placing unfit meat on the market and other associated hygiene offences.

Related topics Legal Frozen

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