TWO Omagh companies who pleaded guilty to a number of waste offences, have had to fork out £800,000 in the removal of the rubbish and clean-up of the site.
Recyco Ltd and Shergrim Recycling Ltd – both with an address at Barony Road, Mountfield – were fined a total of £5,250 at Antrim Crown Court on Friday.
The offences were detected in October 2011, when officers from the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) found ‘significant quantities’ of waste buried at the site on the Barony Road.
In a statement, both companies said the offences were a result of a “misunderstanding with their regulators” over an “interim arrangement for the storage of waste”. They also said a report revealed that the offending material had caused “no overall significant impact on the air or water environment”.
The waste consisted of construction and demolition waste, clay, concrete, brick, timber and metals – together with other wastes associated with waste processing facilities, such as macerated timber, crushed glass, textiles and other residuals. Some of this waste was found at a depth of 9.5 metres.
Both companies had pleaded guilty at a previous hearing in December 2015 and at the direction of the Court, undertook to clean-up the site.
More than 31,500 tonnes of waste had to be excavated, treated and disposed of in an authorised landfill facility.
The remediation works, overseen by the NIEA, were completed in December 2016 at an estimated cost of £800,000.
Shergrim Recycling Ltd were instructed to pay costs to the NIEA of £7,370.06.
A spokesperson for the NI Environment Agency said, “This represents a significant positive outcome insofar as the law has been upheld and convictions secured.
“However, importantly, the offending waste has also been removed at the expense of the defendants. This means that the environment has been protected without significant cost to the taxpayer.”
Shergrim Recycling Ltd and Recyco Ltd have accepted the finding that both firms were in breach of regulations for waste storage.
A spokeswoman for the companies said, “It is with great regret that we found ourselves, albeit inadvertently, in the situation where we were not compliant with the regulations and we fully accept the consequences of our failure to comply.
“We take very seriously our responsibilities and duties in relation to the operation of our business and our commitment to upholding the high standards required by our regulator.
“We have taken appropriate steps to remediate the site and put in place a more robust administrative system to deal with future licensing applications.”