Fined for dumping medical waste

Medical waste dumped at Metheringham EMN-150707-170433001
Medical waste dumped at Metheringham EMN-150707-170433001

A man who dumped a significant stash of prescription medicines on a country lane after being paid to dispose of it properly has been ordered to pay more than £2,500 in court costs and fines.

Callam Harness (25), of Kennedy Road, Washingborough, was paid £30 by a woman in Potterhanworth to remove her waste, believing it would be taken to the local household recycling centre and disposed of properly.

Some of the medical waste dumped by the roadside in Metheringham. EMN-150707-172618001

Some of the medical waste dumped by the roadside in Metheringham. EMN-150707-172618001

It was, however, found in January dumped on the side of the road at Bloxholme Lane, Metheringham – containing a substantial amount of medication, including tablets and pills which could have caused significant harm to the public, along with cardboard, carpet and old letters which pointed to the waste’s origins.

When interviewed by North Kesteven District Council officers, Harness admitted collecting the waste but denied depositing it, saying he had leant his van to a man in the pub who had deposited it. He denied running a waste collection business despite Facebook adverts promoting himself as ‘a man with a van’ available to collect waste.

He was charged with five offences contrary to the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and Control of Pollution (Amendment) Act 1989, including the transporting of controlled waste in the course of a business or otherwise, with a view to profit without legal registration to do so and depositing controlled waste, or knowingly cause or knowingly permitted controlled waste to be deposited on any land not authorised under an environmental permit.

At Lincoln Magistrates Court on Thursday (July 2) he pleaded guilty to all five offences. He was fined a total of £2,523.10 (including costs). This included a fine of £1,680, costs £600, compensation to NKDC £123.10 and victim surcharge of £120.

The case also resulted in North Kesteven District Council successfully obtaining its first Criminal Behaviour Order, preventing Harness from transporting controlled waste without the relevant licenses and proper authorisation, for two years.

Although she had given officers all of the details she had for Harness, the resident herself was issued with a warning letter advising her that she should have taken steps to ensure that he was authorised to accept it.

Coun Richard Wright, NKDC’s executive board member responsible for waste management and enforcement, said this case highlighted the need for householders to ensure they were only using authorised waste handlers and for anyone operating a waste handling business to have the proper licences, or risk being caught out and fined.