Aerial photography has been used by the Environment Agency as evidence in a case that led to a Boston, Lincolnshire company getting a £26,000 fine for burning waste.
At a waste transfer station owned by sole director Ronnie Bennett and his company Forceshift (Contracting) Ltd, aerial photography taken four times captured images showing machinery putting wood, metal and plastic waste onto fires at the transfer station.
Boston Magistrates Court heard that after a very large fire on the site in November 2010, Bennett and the company were warned not to burn waste as it was against the law. They had claimed the fire had been started by a stray firework.
In 2011, there was evidence that at least 12 more fires were started at the site.
Environment Agency senior manager Norman Robinson said: “Companies who flout the law and impact on the environment and neighbours will be caught and prosecuted. Tonnes of waste were burned illegally for months without concern, releasing pollution to air and a smoke plume visible for miles. Any company acting in this way risks court action. We will continue to monitor this site.”
Ronnie Bennett and Forceshift (Contracting) Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching a permit condition and failing to prevent others setting fire to waste that should have been disposed of properly.
The company was ordered to pay costs of £10,000 and Bennett was ordered to pay costs of £4,000.