A man who dumped 744 containers of clear liquid has been sentenced and ordered to pay £12,500.
A joint investigation between Bolton Council and Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) led to the successful prosecution of Rehise Khan at Bolton Magistrate’s Court on August 7.
A council environmental enforcement officer worked with the fire service, and investigated the dumped containers to track down Khan.
He was sentenced to 26 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to pay £1,483 costs plus £11,023.20 in compensation, after he admitted disposing of the waste in January using a fork lift truck over a number of days.
Khan stated he had bought the wrong chemical for his e-cigarettes business on Wadsworth Industrial Park, High Street, Bolton.
The containers were discovered on land at the rear of the industrial park, following a call to GMFRS from a concerned member of the public on January 8, 2017.
GMFRS responded to the call-out and a cordon was put in place. A Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT) Officer was also required to attend the scene.
On further testing, the liquid was found to be of a low risk substance and the owners of the land arranged for the containers to be removed at a cost of more than £9,000.
Bolton Council’s Executive Cabinet Member for Environmental Services, Councillor Nick Peel, said: “Fly-tipping shows a complete disregard for the area and can cause all sorts of problems for local people.
“In this particular case, local residents were worried about the contents of the containers and GMFRS wasted time and resources to deal with the incident. We worked together with the fire service to bring this case to court.
“Thankfully, the liquid was found to be low risk but could have easily caused a full-scale emergency had it tested otherwise.
“We will always pursue a prosecution where appropriate. Our willingness to take action, working with our partners, should act as a strong deterrent to those thinking of leaving their waste or dumping rubbish in future.”
Chair of GMFRS’ Fire Committee, Cllr David Acton, said: “Any illegally tipped waste can become a target for a deliberate fire, which can take firefighters away from dealing with more serious incidents. The quantities of liquids found at this site were substantial and potentially dangerous to the surrounding area, with fly-tipped chemicals even more harmful to the environment.”
Group Manager Ben Levy, HAZMAT Officer for GMFRS, said “Thankfully the liquids fly-tipped here did not pose an immediate danger but if this had not been the case, lives and the environment could have been at put at risk, particularly given the quantity concerned.
“Anybody with excess waste should dispose of it in a safe and legal way.”
Fly-tipping can be reported via the Bolton Council website.