By Caelia Quinault
Glass reprocessor Nationwide Recycling Ltd has been found guilty of PRN fraud in a case brought by the Environment Agency.
Swansea Crown court convicted the Neath-based company on Friday (October 8) of three offences. This included issuing packaging waste recovery notes (PRNs) for waste which had not been received between January 1 2009 and October 1 2010, contrary to the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 2007.
Nationwide Recycling reprocessed glass into aggregates The company was also found guilty of operating a regulated facility without a permit between April 5 2008 and April 6 2010, and also between April 5 2010 and June 2 2011, contrary to the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations.
Nationwide Recycling was placed in liquidation in June 2011 and its assets sold to Glass Tech Recycling.
Nationwide Recycling was prosecuted separately from two directors and two employees from the firm, who entered guilty pleas at an early hearing last week (see letsrecycle.com story). The four, alongside the company, will not be sentenced until March 2013.
According to the Environment Agency, an investigation into Nationwide Recycling found that the company had weighed plant, machinery and lorries to generate false weighbridge tickets and invoices for recycled materials that were never in fact received by it for recycling.
The Agency said the company also falsified registrations of proposed vehicles bringing waste to the site. Following a vehicle check with the DVLA, the investigation found one vehicle to be a Harley Davidson motorbike that had allegedly carried 20 tonnes of glass into the site.
This led to an estimated financial gain of over £2m through the fraudulent issue of Packaging Recovery Notes (PRNs) for materials that were neither received nor recycled.
For example, surveillance by Agency officers carried out at the premises over a period of six days in February and March 2010, showed 62 loads of glass packaging waste were received.
However, during this period the company declared that they had received 130 loads.