Fridge recycler found guilty after site leaks

THE former director of fridge recycler Bromfield Industrial Services (BIS) has been found guilty of five out of six charges relating to breaching waste management licence conditions, after discarded units leaked refrigerant.

The prosecution against Robert Sant, sole director of the Shropshire-based firm, was brought by the Environment Agency which claimed refrigerant and oil leaked from fridges at the site causing potential pollution of the environment.

The EA said the firm failed to drain fridge cooling systems sufficiently, to correctly inspect and dispatch outgoing waste and prevent leaks.

Fridges were not destroyed in a contained environment and the treatment and disposal of controlled waste was deemed likely to cause pollution and harm to human health.

Sant, which had the firm’s headquarters near Ludlow, pleaded not guilty to six charges of breaching the conditions of its waste management licence between April 2005 and November 2007. Sant’s trial at Shrewsbury crown court began on March 1.

The company handled approximately 96,000 fridges a year. Bromfield Industrial Services is now in administration.

John Bateman, Environment Agency case officer speaking on March 25, said: “Today’s verdict shows how Mr Sant showed blatant disregard for the law and the environment. His calculated and deliberate actions have contributed to a massive amount of environmentally-damaging gases being emitted. Since being informed of the offences, Mr Sant continued to illegally treat and dispose of refrigerators without making any effort to comply with agency requirements ».

Sentencing is scheduled to take place on May 7.

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