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Deadly asbestos found outside of skip hire site, court hears
DEADLY toxic waste left on an access road was just one of many hazards uncovered during an inspection of a North-East skip hire company.
Asbestos sheets were left uncovered in skips and on the ground of the road leading to the Darlington-based Albert Hill Skip Hire company, according to evidence given by an Environment Agency officer at Teesside Crown Court today (Tuesday September 17).
At the trial of the company’s director, Paul Shepherd, and his brother Raymond, officers described the scenes that met them during an inspection of the waste transfer site at Dodsworth Street in June 2011.
Environment Agency officer Rachel Elaine Adams said several skips - some branded with the Albert Hill Skip Hire name - were left outside of the site, in violation of its permit.
She said: “Some of these skips contained items I believed to be asbestos sheeting...there was no security surrounding the asbestos skips.
“Some of the asbestos material had fallen out of the skips and was on the road about 100m outside of the permitted site."
Several large mounds of mixed waste – including plastics, wood, bricks and rubble – found within the grounds of the site could also have posed dangers to the environment and to people, according to Mrs Adams.
She said: “In my opinion, the waste had just been stock-piled there and had built up over time.”
The Shepherd brothers deny a number of charges relating to serious environmental breaches at the firm’s Dodsworth Street site as well at as their site on Whessoe Road, Darlington and at the West Musgrave Farm – operated by the company in St Helen Auckland, County Durham.
The trial continues.