A High-Wycombe based waste management company has been convicted after sending 175 tonnes of household waste to China.

The environment agency prosecuted Biffa Waste Services, of Coronation Road in High Wycombe, for sending the unsorted household waste to China, which was made illegal in 2006.

After a three-week trial, a jury at Wood Green Crown Court found Biffa guilty of two breaches of the law in May and June 2015.

Evidence gathered by investigators at Felixstone port identified the contents of seven 25-tonne containers which were bound for China.

The containers were found to include shoes, plastic bags, an umbrella, socks, hand towels, unused condoms, video tapes, toiletries and electric cable.

Biffa was also trying to export pet food containers, toilet wipes, latex gloves, women’s underwear, laminate flooring, coat hangers, metal pipes and even a copy of a record by 90s band Deee-Lite.

Jurors heard that Biffa used two companies, or brokers, to act as intermediaries to manage the deal to send the waste to two sites on the South China Sea coast.

The first broker took up a request from a Chinese client in April 2015 to arrange shipment of 5,863 tonnes of mixed waste paper by contacting Biffa. A price of around £350,000 was agreed for the export which was due to take place the following month.

At the same time, Biffa agreed with a second broker to ship 4,992 tonnes of mixed paper in a contract worth almost £290,000.

The Environment Agency prevented any of the seven containers from leaving Felixstowe.

Sarah Mills, an enforcement manager whose team investigated the breaches for the Environment Agency, said: “Our officers found anything and everything in Biffa’s containers at Felixstowe. They were marked as wastepaper but contained a totally unacceptable level of contamination with other waste.

“The regulations around shipment of waste were brought in to stop the West merely passing the problem to other countries. It was commonplace in the 1970s and 1980s for developed nations to send vast amounts of waste abroad.

“The waste contained harmful material likely to have been discarded by the receiving country, at great risk and cost to the environment and people.

“The guilty verdicts justify our decision to prosecute Biffa.”

Biffa had previously pleaded not guilt at an earlier hearing to two counts of breaching regulation 23 of the Transfrontier Shipment of Waste Regulations 2007.

Judge Simon Auerbach deferred sentencing until September 27. The court was informed that the Environment Agency and Biffa had agreed a figure of £9,912 to be paid for proceeds of crime.