Healthcare Environmental Services trial to begin soon

Garry Pettigrew, the former boss of a clinical waste company faces trial over the alleged illegal storage of human body parts and other materials. It is also alleged that he obstructed an investigation by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency,

Garry Pettigrew, 54, was managing director of Healthcare Environmental Services Limited which went into liquidation in 2019 after losing NHS contracts in Scotland and England.

Around 150 people worked at the firm’s plant in Shotts, Lanarkshire, where waste from hospitals in Scotland was stored, processed and incinerated.

Not guilty plea

Mr Pettigrew and Healthcare Environmental Services Limited have pleaded not guilty to a series of charges under the Pollution Prevention and Control (Scotland) Regulations 2012.

It’s alleged that large quantities of waste were stored in areas with insufficient capacity and for longer than is permitted by law.

Allegations

Allegations include that “hazardous clinical waste consisting of recognisable body parts, tissue and organs” was stored at room temperature for more than the 12-hour time limit.

Prosecutors also say “anatomical and pathological waste” was kept in refrigerators for longer than the three-month limit.

It’s further claimed that waste was kept in storage when it should have been incinerated.

Another allegation is that the company failed to comply with a SEPA enforcement notice requiring the removal of material.

A separate charge relates to the firm’s premises in Dundee where “large quantities of waste were stored for longer than is allowed”.

Four trailers containing waste were allegedly broken into there.

The offences are said to have taken place between May 2017 and April 2019.

Pettigrew is further accused of hindering or obstructing SEPA officers between November 2018 and February 2019.

It’s alleged he refused them access to the Shotts and Dundee plants, failed to produce copies of documents and failed to hand over a list of company employees.

‘Shortage of capacity’

Pettigrew has previously claimed the company did nothing wrong and blamed a nationwide shortage of incineration capacity and Government inaction for the problems it faced.

He and the company, which is now insolvent, are due to stand trial at Hamilton Sheriff Court in May.

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