A Chesterfield skip hire and scrap metal firm has been fined £16,000 for illegally disposing of waste by burning.
Richard Fletcher (Metals) Ltd, based at Newbridge Lane, Old Whittington, was sentenced by Chesterfield magistrates’ court this month following an Environment Agency investigation.
It was on Bonfire Night last year that the firefighters were called to a large fire on the company premises.
The company had contacted the fire service earlier that day to inform them a small, controlled fire had been started, but it was claimed this had got out of control.
The blaze was emitting dark smoke by the evening, heading in the direction of the town centre. It took firefighters 90 minutes to bring the fire under control.
The next day, the EA received a call from Chesterfield Borough Council which reported coach seats, rubber, metal, and vinyl being burned.
Firefighters returned when after a report that a bus was on fire and spent two-and-a-half hours putting out the fire.
Nadine Sime, prosecuting for the EA, said investigating officers found several types of burnt waste including soil, metal, plastic, rubber, cardboard, rubble, and foam chairs. There were also three burnt-out coaches, several piles of burnt metal and tyres. Another visit revealed another fire had been started in a 200-litre drum used to burn paper and rubbish. The firm admitted disposing of waste in a manner likely to cause pollution or harm to health.
Firm director Richard Fletcher said the waste had been burned by staff who did not know this was against the law. The company was also ordered to pay £3,097.73 costs and a victim surcharge of £120.