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Wednesday, 19 February, 2003, 09:28 GMT
Human tissue firm offers apology
Blood bags
Some lorries containing remains were dripping blood
A clinical waste company fined 100,000 after leaving human waste to rot in lorries has apologised for causing unnecessary distress.

Eurocare Environmental Services left human remains, including placentas, in unrefrigerated lorries in car parks and at other sites for up to five months.

The company is obviously disappointed that our previously unblemished record has now become somewhat tarnished

Eurocare spokesman

In a written statement, a company spokesman said there were lessons to be learnt from the case.

"Eurocare fully acknowledges that certain regulations were breached when these incidents occurred over two years ago.

"We would like to take this opportunity to apologise for the distress caused.

"The company is obviously disappointed that our previously unblemished record has now become somewhat tarnished."

The company was fined 40,000 for polluting the River Dee in north Wales after pouring thousands of litres of clinical fluids, including blood, into a septic tank that leaked into the river.

Pleaded guilty

Eurocare was also fined 35,000 for illegally storing clinical waste at sites in Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Birmingham, and 25,000 for other offences.

Eurocare was also ordered to pay costs of 114,818.

The company had pleaded guilty to 10 charges last year prior to the fine.

Since the incident, Eurocare has appointed a new managing director and invested over 3.5m in new plant facilities to deal with extra waste.

Last week, Chester Crown Court heard that the firm left dozens of articulated trailers full of clinical waste including human tissue at sites in Newcastle and Birmingham.

Tip-off

It also heard how nightshift workers in Wrexham regularly emptied a 4,000 litre tank of clinical waste which drained into the River Dee.

The case was originally investigated by the Environment Agency after an anonymous fax.

The document said Eurocare had been storing clinical waste in unrefrigerated trailers for over a fortnight at two truck stops near Newcastle.

When officials visited the site, they found blood dripping from one of the lorries.

On a subsequent inspection, a trailer was found to be packed so full of waste that Environment Agency officers could not open the doors.

Inspectors watched workers in Wrexham unload a trailer and found two mattresses had been placed on the floor to soak up blood leaking from the waste.

Eurocare, based in Newcastle, is one of the biggest hospital waste disposal companies, disposing of 45,000 tonnes of tissue and fluids each year.

It disposes of clinical waste for all hospitals in the north of England.


More from north east Wales
See also:

14 Feb 03 | Health
22 May 01 | Health
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