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Muslim Funeral Services fined for dumping potentially toxic waste onto a site for a bonfire

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A funeral company which dumped potentially toxic waste onto a site for a bonfire has been fined £3,000 by Bradford magistrates.

The court was told that a police officer spotted staff from Muslim Funeral Services Limited as they dumped waste on land near Church Street, Manningham, in October 2016.

Bradford Council prosecutor Harjit Ryatt said that when the men were confronted, they told the officer that they had permission to dump the waste because it was going to be burned on a bonfire at the site within a few days.

The items included wooden pallets and timber but also polystyrene and plastic which could have given off noxious, toxic fumes if burned at the site which was near people’s homes, said Mr Ryatt.

He added that when the police officer told the men they were not allowed to dump the rubbish, another representative of the company, with a branch at Darfield Street, Bradford, attended and told the men to re-load the rubbish back onto to the flat bed truck they were using.

However, when they all left some of the rubbish was left behind, said Mr Ryatt.

A later investigation by Bradford Council officers established that the landowner had not given permission for the rubbish to be dumped and there was no bonfire planned at the site.

“It is an established business. They should have had in place systems to make sure offences of this type are not committed,” said Mr Ryatt.

Lawyer Tahir Ayub, pleaded guilty on behalf of the Birmingham-based company to two charges. One of disposing of controlled waste without a permit and one of allowing controlled waste to escape from a vehicle.

As well as the fine, Muslim Funeral Services Ltd was told to pay £875 costs and £170 Victim Surcharge.

Mr Ayub said that normally the company used a legitimate waste disposal company to get rid of waste but had been misled on this occasion.

“It was a one-off exceptional event where certain items had been deposited and not removed.” Said Mr Ayub.

Following the case, Bradford Council Executive Member for Environment, Sport and Culture, Sarah Ferriby, said: “Avoiding trade waste charges by illegally dumping rubbish in Bradford has proved to be an expensive lesson for this company.

“We have warned in the past that Bonfire Night does not present an opportunity for traders to dump their waste on the cheap, particularly where the items which might end up being burned could cause a health risk to local people.

“We hope that other people tempted to behave in the same way will learn the less that it doesn’t pay. It’s much easier to get rid of waste properly than to end up in court.”