We were contacted by the landlord of an industrial unit; his tenant had been storing a large quantity of chemicals and the material was smelling, causing a nuisance to neighbouring units. During which time the tenant had also gone into receivership.

We recommended he contacted the Environment Agency and we carried out a full inspection to determine the extent of the problem.

The inspection showed the site had over 35 tonnes of Flammable, Toxic, Corrosive and Clinical waste in various size containers from 5lt to 1000lt IBC’s and alarmingly, a large quantity of picric acid, a potentially explosive substance in dry form.

At this time, we were appointed as the landlords Hazardous Waste Consultant, and tasked with removing the waste, this also involved talking to Army Explosives experts, the area’s Police firearms officer and local radio and TV.

The waste was fully listed, safely repackaged, suitably labelled and removed for high temperature incineration. A specialist explosives company was enlisted to tackle over 60kg of the picric acid, which was water dampened prior to safe removal.

It subsequently turned out that the same company in liquidation had also been carrying out similar operations in at least two other locations within Sussex, and we were also tasked with the removal of the waste from these locations. Overall the company had been responsible for leaving some 235 tonnes of Hazardous Waste solvents and other chemicals at across the three different locations.

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