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Fri October 23 2020

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Roofing contractor fined for dumping asbestos in field

1 Oct 10 A Somerset roofing contractor and two accomplices have been ordered to pay more than £3,600 in fines and costs for illegally dumping a trailer load of asbestos in the Somerset countryside.

A Somerset roofing contractor and two accomplices have been ordered to pay more than £3,600 in fines and costs for illegally dumping a trailer load of asbestos in the Somerset countryside.

The case was brought by the Environment Agency.

Disney Roofing was caught after packaging containing the home address of director Andrew Disney was found among waste dumped in a field at Boomer Farm, North Petherton. The farm lies within The Quantock Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The farmer was alerted by a friend who told him one of his fields had been targeted by fly-tippers. The waste included old asbestos tiles, drainpipes, wood and plastic.

The farmer reported the incident to Sedgemoor District Council and handed over a box with Disney’s home address on it.

On 2 October 2009, police arrested Disney on suspicion of depositing controlled waste without a licence. They were accompanied by officers from the Environment Agency’s environmental crime team.

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Information obtained from Disney during questioning implicated two other men, Gareth Bright and Andrew Bryant, in the crime. When interviewed, Disney and Bright said they borrowed Bryant’s van to transport the waste to Boomer Farm using a trailer belonging to Disney.

Samples of waste taken from the field were analysed and found to contain white and brown asbestos – a hazardous substance that must be disposed of at a licensed site. The waste had come from a site in the Blagdon Hill area of Taunton.

Disney had earlier hired a skip to legally dispose of any hazardous waste, but it had been removed by contractors before all the asbestos roof tiles and drainpipes the from the roofing job at Taunton had been cleared. It was this surplus waste that was dumped.

“Fly-tipping is not only a blight on the landscape, it also damages wildlife habitats and can pose a risk to human health,” said Glyn Sewell for the Environment Agency. “It is especially important hazardous wastes like asbestos are disposed of safely. We are determined to bring offenders to justice by working in close partnership with the police and local authorities.”

Appearing before Bridgwater magistrates, Andrew Disney was ordered to pay £1,844 costs and given a 12 month community order requiring him to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work. Gareth Bright was ordered to pay £922 costs and ordered to carry out 100 hours unpaid work under a 12 month community order. Andrew Bryant was fined £300 and ordered to pay £285 costs.

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