Human body parts were burned at lower temperature than normal, court hears trends now
Human body parts were burnt at lower temperatures to help clear a backlog after a waste disposal plant closed down, a court heard.
Environment watchdog SEPA gave the green light to incinerate body parts at 850 degrees rather than 1100 degrees at the plant which had been operated by Garry Pettigrew, 55.
His Healthcare Environmental Services (HES) business closed after losing NHS contracts to destroy medical waste.
Pettigrew is on trial at Hamilton Sheriff Court where he denies allegations HES breached regulations at its plant near Shotts, Lanarkshire, and another site in Dundee.
Garry Pettigrew, 55, pictured, is on trial at Hamilton Sheriff Court where he denies allegations his company, Healthcare Environmental Services (HES) breached regulations
The court heard Pettigrew's business, Healthcare Environmental Services, pictured, closed down after losing NHS contracts
Mark Heggie, a senior policy officer with SEPA, told the trial rules were temporarily changed to allow human body parts to be destroyed in an incinerator in Shotts and also in Lerwick and Dunbar.
He said: 'During the contingency period, we allowed anatomical waste to be burnt at 850 degrees rather than at 1100 degrees.
'This was done during the period when HES had shut down and there was a piece of kit on the site at Shotts, a pyrolysis, to allow this to happen.
'It was also taken to be incinerated in Lerwick and in Dunbar where they also had equipment to do this.'
Heggie, 51, also spoke of the consequences of people 'coming into contact' with anatomical waste if it was not stored properly.
He added: 'If it is infected then there is obviously a risk of any infectious properties being passed on to a person.
'The very nature of this kind of waste is not something that you would want to come across.'
Heggie also claimed Pettigrew had shredded documents relating to the Shotts site ahead of a SEPA visit in November 2018.
He said: 'We arrived on site and asked Garry where the documents were and he replied that he had already shredded the material and could only offer us a bag of shredded paper if we wanted it.
'He was advised of the consequences of non-compliance but to my knowledge we haven't received anything from him.'
The trial has previously heard how Pettigrew was