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Unpermitted waste activities gets £43,920 penalty
12th October 2013

Wolverhampton based company S&B Waste Management & Recycling Limited and John Chamberlain (61) of Halesowen were both sentenced after pleading guilty at Stafford Magistrates Court on 26 September 2013.

Acting on information received from the public, on 13 April 2010, Environment Agency Officers went to investigate a suspected illegal waste operation in Essington. Officers confirmed that waste was being deposited on the site and advised site operator, John Chamberlain that an offence had been committed and that the deposit of waste on this land would have to stop until the required environmental permits had been obtained. The court heard that in excess of 23,500 tonnes of waste material had been brought to the site for the construction of a motor cross track on land without the necessary planning permission for that use.

Under the Duty of Care Regulations it is a requirements for waste to be disposed of at a permitted facility. By doing this S&B Waste have avoided those costs borne by legitimate business involved in the receipt and disposal of waste.

Prosecuting Counsel for the Environment Agency, Tim Green, described the offence as being "motivated by commercial interests to avoid the costs of disposing of waste lawfully" and said that green belt land had been significantly degraded by the defendants behaviour. Mr Green added that "both defendants were well aware of the need for the Environment Agency's permission to deposit waste on land" and invited the Judge to order S and B Waste to pay for costs of restoring Essington to its proper condition.

The company was fined £12,700, ordered to pay £27,000 in costs, along with a £120 victim surcharge. In addition, the Court granted the request from the Environment Agency to make an Order for S&B Waste Management & Recycling Limited to remove the waste to a lawful disposal facility and restore the land to its original condition.

John Chamberlain was fined £1,000, ordered to pay £3,000 in costs, along with a £100 victim surcharge.

In mitigation both parties said that at the time when the material was deposited they believed that it was not waste.