A Portaferry man was fined a total of £1,950 for five waste offences today at Newtownards Magistrates’ Court.
Mr Patrick Merron (54) of Craigarodden Road, Portaferry, was found guilty of four counts under the Waste and Contaminated Land (NI) Order 1997 and one count under the Transfrontier Shipment of Waste Regulations 2007.
In May 2010, officers from the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) visited a site at Craigarodden Road Portaferry, the rear of which contained a yard and large agricultural shed.
The shed and yard contained a large number of metal barrels and plastic buckets that were being used to store waste vegetable oils and cooking fats, many of which were old and whose contents were leaking onto the ground, as well as into an adjacent field (which also contained hundreds of old barrels, some of which still contained used cooking oils and fats). The shed was full of waste vegetable oil and fat containers which had spilled along with two large road tankers.
Subsequent NIEA visits to the site in July and September 2012, found that the site was continuing to be used to deposit and store waste cooking oils and fats. Mr Merron’s business collected waste cooking oils and fats from local food/catering establishments and he was using the site to store them. He then sold the oils and fats to a bio-diesel processing facility in the Republic of Ireland. He failed to notify NIEA of this cross border movement of waste as required under the Transfrontier Shipment of Waste Regulations.
The site at Craigarodden Road was not licensed to store waste and did not have the correct infrastructure in place to store solid or liquid wastes. As such the waste stored on site created polluting run off, which had the potential to harm the environment.
A subsequent site visit by NIEA officers in September 2013 found that the site had largely been cleared of waste.