Callington scrapyard fined for old tyres bonfire
The owner of a scrapyard in Cornwall has been ordered to pay thousands of pounds in fines and court costs for illegally burning waste including old tyres on Guy Fawkes Night.
The case against Janet Rundle of Rundle's Scrap Yard, Kelly Bray, Callington, was brought by the Environment Agency.
Mrs Rundle was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay £2,479 costs. She pleaded guilty to disposing of controlled waste in a manner likely to cause pollution of the environment or harm human health and failing to comply with the conditions of an environmental permit.
Bodmin Magistrates were told a member of the public complained to the agency after seeing a large plume of thick black smoke billowing from the yard on November 5, 2011.
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When an Agency officer visited the site she saw a large area of burnt ground in a field adjacent to the scrapyard.
A digger machine was working nearby alongside two skips, one of which contained burnt metal and tyre rims.
The court heard that when asked about the bonfire, Mrs Rundle replied: "It was Bonfire Night. What do you expect?"
Inspecting the scrapyard, the officer found a huge pile of burnt out tyre rims.
She suspected they had been brought back into the yard from the area around the bonfire.
The defendant said she had invited some children around to watch the fire as part of Guy Fawkes night celebrations. But three independent witnesses said they did not see any fireworks.
Rundle's Scrapyard holds an Environment Agency waste management permit and is registered as a metal recycling facility.
Magistrates heard there had been previous incidents at the site relating to burning, illegal waste disposal and pollution.