An oil spill last year caused serious environmental damage after a company boss exacerbated the issue by using Daz laundry detergent.

Chingford-based demolition company, East London Demolition Services, was slapped with a £10,000 fine after engine oil from its Buxton Road demolition yard leaked into the nearby Ching Brook.

Company boss, Trevor Haley, was informed of the spillage on the day it happened but he failed to return to the site. When he did show up the day afterwards he attempted to treat the spillage by putting down Daz detergent, which served only to make the pollution even worse.

The Environment Agency deployed oil-absorbent brooms to prevent damage to wildlife and plants becoming even more serious as they joined Waltham Forest council officers in a contamination clear-up effort.

Haley was found guilty at Thames Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, January 14 of failing in his duty of care to take reasonable steps to contain waste from the business.

Cllr Clyde Loakes, deputy leader and cabinet member for the environment, said: “I’m pleased to see that the court has taken this case as seriously as ourselves and the Environment Agency. The damage caused to Ching Brook could have been easily avoided if Mr Haley had bothered to take a few simple steps to keep these hazardous materials properly secured.

“Once the accident had happened, however, his actions veered from the negligent toward the inept. Why it seemed a good idea to pour detergent onto the spill I will never know, but it unsurprisingly only made the damage worse.

“It’s only thanks to the swift action of council officers and colleagues at the Environment Agency that this spillage was properly dealt with and cleared before it caused lasting harm to the river.”

East London Demolition Services and its director Trevor Haley, of Southend-on-Sea, Essex, were each fined £2,000, with full costs of £5,946.56 and a victim surcharge of £170 being awarded to the council.

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