Three directors of waste businesses in Dudley have been given suspended prison sentences after 2,000 tonnes of waste were abandoned in 2016.
The men were convicted at Wolverhampton crown court in June for their failure to comply with permit conditions and enforcement notices at the site known as Rowanoak, located on Shaw Road in Dudley (see letsrecycle.com story).
In a statement regarding penalties, the Environment Agency reported this week that after Rowanoak Waste Services Ltd and its director Kevin Allan were found guilty by HHJ Kershaw on all counts relating to the illegal waste activities, Mr Allen was fined £25,000, received a 12 month suspended sentence and was ordered to complete 100 hours of unpaid work.
He was also ordered to pay £40,000 towards the prosecution costs and has been disqualified from acting as a company director for three years.
Mak Waste Ltd – which had its office in Bloxwich, West Midlands – and its director Brian McIntosh, had previously admitted their part in the failure to comply with the conditions of the site’s permit and the continual failure to action requests for compliance made by Environment Agency officers, the Agency reported.
Mak Waste was fined £18,000, whilst Mr McIntosh was given 10 months imprisonment suspended for 12 months and ordered to complete 150 hours of unpaid work. He was also ordered to pay £1,200 towards the prosecution costs and disqualified from being a director for five years.
“Allan, McIntosh and Hawkins have shown a complete disregard for the local community.”
Randle Hawkins was found guilty of deliberately failing to comply with a revocation notice, the Agency noted. He was ordered to complete 100 hours of unpaid work and pay £1,000 towards prosecution costs. He was earlier cleared of four other charges relating to the breach of permit conditions and enforcement notice.
Edward Venables (formerly Boulton) – who was also a director of Mak Waste Ltd – was found not guilty of all three charges against him.
The court was told that the operations at the Shaw Road site had led to a smell described as “stomach churning”, which had left some people feeling physically ill. Dust and debris from the facility disrupted local businesses and their customers.
The Environment Agency claimed it used various enforcement tools to try and bring the site back into compliance, but those operating it failed to act on the guidance provided.
In 2016 the site was abandoned with a “significant” amount of waste left behind. The Environment Agency worked with the new landowners and the waste was removed in March 2018.
Rowanoak Waste Services – which is registered in Leicester – is currently in liquidation, having passed a resolution to wind up the business on 1 July 2019. Mak Waste Ltd – registered in Walsall – resolved to wind up business in December 2015.
Speaking after the men were found guilty, the Environment Agency officer in charge of the investigation said: “In this case, those found guilty, by being in breach of their permit, continued to operate their site illegally and continually ignored the Environment Agency’s efforts to reduce the waste.”
“Allan, McIntosh and Hawkins have shown a complete disregard for the local community, subjecting local businesses to months of misery by illegally and inappropriately storing large quantities of waste on the site.”