A skip company has pleaded guilty to two charges of operating a regulated waste facility without an environmental permit, and a further charge of disposing of commercial waste by burning.
The company was fined £6,000 (£2,000 for each charge), and ordered to pay £3,572 in costs, along with a £15 victim surcharge.
The charge was brought by the Environment Agency under Regulation 38 of the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010.
This case concerns a waste operation being carried out at Westington Quarry, by Stow Skips Ltd.
On 13 January 2011 an Environment Agency Officer visited the site in response to complaints from other businesses in the area. There were large quantities of waste deposited on the site, estimated to be more than 2,000 tonnes. The waste was a mix of construction waste, green waste, soils and general household waste. There was also a large pile of combustible materials piled next to a container which had clearly been used for burning the waste.
Stow Skips were sent a letter advising that all waste activities must stop immediately, and that all waste must be removed from site by 28 February 2011.
On 28 February, officers visited the site again. There were still large quantities of waste being stored and sorted on site, and no evidence of any material having been removed.
On 1 March 2011 Mr Nicholas Scarsbrook, the owner of Stow Skips Ltd, attended an interview under caution. Mr Scarsbrook admitted that the company had been operating a waste site without a permit, and that waste had been burnt previously at the site despite guidance and warnings given to the company.
Speaking after the case, the Environment Agency Officer in charge of the investigation said:
“We take waste crime very seriously. By avoiding regulation, Stow Skips Ltd have saved thousands of pounds and been able to undercut legimate businesses in the area. We do not tolerate environmental crime and will not hesitate to prosecute.”
In mitigation, the court was told that the company was generally cooperative, and had entered an early guilty plea. In addition, it is now fully permitted.