8 January 2019 by Elizabeth Slow

Illegal waste site clear-up begins in North Wales

Work to clear a site storing waste illegally on the outskirts of a North Wales town starts this week.

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) said specialist contactors will spend four weeks clearing material – which includes construction and demolition-type waste – from the former site of Porthmadog Skip Hire, on the Penamser Industrial Estate in Porthmadog.

Work starts this week to clear ‘high-risk’ waste from the site of Porthmadog Skip Hire

The site was abandoned by the operators in September 2016 according to NRW.

Company owners Michael, Patricia and Joseph Gaffey were found guilty of storing more waste than allowed in their yard, which was “a risk to the local environment,” NRW states. They were each sentenced to 10 months in prison at Mold Crown Court in March 2017.

And, last year, a hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act brought by NRW, saw the three partners ordered to pay around £350,000 (see letsrecycle.com story).

This, and a grant from the Welsh Government will contribute towards the cost of clearing the site, which are expected to be around £800,000, according to NRW.


The waste will be removed by Acumen Waste Services and taken to Llanddulas landfill site in Conwy. NRW will oversee the work throughout the operation.

Below: An aerial view of the Porthmadog Skip Hire site (Video: Natural Resources Wales)

Above: An aerial view of the Porthmadog Skip Hire site (Video: Natural Resources Wales)

Sian Williams, NRW head of operations in North West Wales said: “Storing waste illegally can harm the environment, pose a risk to human health and undermines legitimate businesses that invest in the required measures.

“The Proceeds of Crime settlement means that the offenders themselves will foot part of the bill for clearing the site, re-couping some of the cost to the taxpayer.

“I hope this case sends out a strong message to the waste industry that we do not tolerate illegal operators that undercut responsible, permitted sites that comply with the law.

“We’ll make every effort to minimise disturbance to nearby businesses while this essential work is carried out.”


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