Man Handed 12 Month Sentence For Dumping Trommel Fines

A Manchester man has been jailed for 12 months for illegally dumping 100 tonnes of “pungent waste” on the site of The Kingfisher Special School, Oldham.

The school was left with a £22,197 bill to remove the waste. The Environment Agency brought the case against Mr Francis Anthony Heaton after he was arrested by Greater Manchester Police for dumping processed household waste (Trommel fines) on land used as a car park at the school. Heaton pleaded guilty on 18 December 2018 at Tameside Magistrates Court.

Trommel fines are generated from the waste processing industry and are destined for Landfill. They are fine materials that are screened out from a waste material using a Trommel Screener.

A representative for the special school confirmed to the police that the school gates had been cut and removed to allow access for the waste to be deposited. The pupils, some with life limiting conditions, had their education disrupted for two weeks due to the waste. The children were unable to use the outdoor education facilities due to an insect infestation in the waste and the risk to the pupils from the infestation.

Mark Easedale, Environment Agency – “Heaton put the welfare of the pupils at risk and disrupted their education. This case is particularly disturbing as the Kingfisher Special School were made to pay to clear the waste.”

The Kingfisher Special School was helped by Oldham Council to remove the waste, however the cost of the waste removal will fall to the school to pay that is the equivalent to the cost of a teaching assistant’s annual salary or the school’s annual budget for its learning resources.

In April 2018 Mr Heaton was fined at Tameside Magistrates for driving the vehicle without the correct driving licence, with false plates, no insurance or a valid MOT certificate and had his driving licence endorsed with penalty points. Greater Manchester Police seized the vehicle and following the statutory period the vehicle was crushed as no owner claimed the vehicle or made a claim for it.

Mark Easedale, Area Environment Manager for the Environment Agency said: “This case demonstrates how seriously the EA takes illegal waste crime. We take robust enforcement action against those who deliberately ignore the law to protect communities and the environment.

“Heaton put the welfare of the pupils at risk and disrupted their education. This case is particularly disturbing as the Kingfisher Special School were made to pay to clear the waste.”

In mitigation Mr Heaton’s barrister told the court that he accepts there was damage to the community and he pleaded guilty on the day of his trial. Judge Lawton told the court he believed Mr Heaton knew full well what he was doing and that it was a deliberate act.

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  1. I worry about this report in that it does not mention the source of the trommel fines or the reason why the source of the waste was not identified – is there a reason for this? It does not look like the driver was the owner of the company treating the “household” waste (otherwise this would have been mentioned – very strange). There is no mention who authorised or provided this driver/cowboy with the work or payment (cash? invoice?). Is this regular work? I have said this on Linkedin – the issue here is one of duty of care at the waste source (the waste treatment entity). I understand the special school had to pay out over £22,000 to have the waste removed and properly disposed assisted by Oldham Council – is there some liability issue here that has been missed? Is there a possibility that the cash strapped Council have used teaching budgets to pay for a waste service liability? The liability for this crime is likely to be with the waste source who have in my view failed in their duty of care responsibilities. I am beginning to think there is some kind of public cover up. The story is too neat as it appears to exclude inconvenient truths – to protect who or what? Has the EA been duped? Too many questions for what should be an open and shut case.

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