Curfew for illegal rubbish burning

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A Leven waste operator has been placed under curfew after being found guilty of illegally burning waste.

Alan Blyth was told he must remain at home between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. for eight months after he pled guilty at Kirkcaldy Sherrif Court to keeping controlled waste at his site Balmain Farm without a Waste Management Licence.

The offence dates back to September 2012 when Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) officers went to the farm as part of an on-going investigation. They found several tonnes of e smouldering plasterboard and around 20-30 tonnes of soil mixed with construction and demolition waste.

A month later a second site visit revealed the same waste – but further burnt. Some of the waste was traced to the demolition of a Falkland care home from which Blyth had removed waste.

Judith Moore, SEPA’s Fife team manager, explained: “Mr Blyth had been previously told by SEPA officers that he could not bring wastes on site, or burn wastes, without an appropriate waste management licence or exemption. A waste management licence would require specific conditions to be met to ensure that waste was stored appropriately and was not a risk to the environment.

“Only very specific waste types may be burned under a waste management exemption. The disposal of plasterboard by burning is not permitted under an exemption and would not be authorised by SEPA. Due to its gypsum mineral component, it has a high sulphur content and improper disposal can give rise to emissions of hydrogen sulphide, which is a toxic and odorous gas.

“By illegally keeping and burning this waste Mr Blyth has not only posed an unacceptable risk to the environment, he has not paid the appropriate disposal costs at a registered landfill, or the fees for a Waste Management Licence. This would give him a financial benefit over operators who ensure they fulfil their environmental responsibilities.”