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Firm fined for dumping toxic waste…

Company buried hazardous waste beneath supermarket distribution centre.

A recycling firm near Bristol has been found guilty of dumping 61,000 tonnes of hazardous waste into the foundations of a supermarket distribution centre.

Churngold Recycling Ltd was paid to remove and safely treat 31,000 tonnes of waste from a BMW plant in Oxford. Instead the firm mixed it with more waste so it weighed 61,000 tonnes and then sold on as groundworks material.

During the trial, the jury heard 31,000 tonnes of soil containing asbestos, lead and other heavy metals, was taken from a BMW factory in 2011 to Churngold’s site in Hallen. At the time, the firm had a licence to hold 6,000 tonnes.

The waste material was mixed with other waste and concrete then sold to developers who were building a Co-op distribution centre in Avonmouth.

Ground worker Edward Mayne said: “The smell was so bad at stages, sometimes I had to leave the site, it made me feel dizzy and sick. “We had it all over our bodies, it was raining, it was mud – we were in it all the time.”

When workers complained they were told to get the waste in the ground as quickly as possible.

A Churngold Recycling employee alerted the Environment Agency which triggered the five-year investigation.

Read more here.

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