A 61-year-old man from Manchester has been has been handed a 12-month prison sentence after admitting to dumping 100 tonnes of trommel fines at a school car park in Oldham.
Francis Heaton, from Gorton, pleaded guilty at Tameside Magistrates Court last month (18 December), after Kingfisher Special School was left with a bill of more than £22,000 to clear the waste.
The Environment Agency brought the case against Mr Heaton after he was arrested by Greater Manchester Police for dumping the “processed household waste” on land used as a car park at the school.
The incident occurred on the weekend of 14-15 April 2018, with Mr Heaton arrested on Sunday 15 April while in the process of moving some material.
According to the Agency, a representative for the school confirmed to Greater Manchester Police that the gates had been secured on the Friday evening (April 13). However, the school’s caretaker told Police on the Monday (16 April) morning he had found that the lock had been cut and removed to allow access to the site.
Trommel fines are described by the Environment Agency as highly processed household waste which is usually taken to landfill sites as it is not possible to recycle and can be odorous.
The Agency added that the school was helped by Oldham council to remove the waste, however the cost of the waste removal will “fall to the school to pay”.
Mark Easedale, Area Environment Manager for Greater Manchester said: “This case along with others this year demonstrates how seriously we take illegal waste crime. When people deliberately ignore the law, as Mr Heaton has, we take robust enforcement action against offenders to protect communities and the environment. He created a completely unacceptable risk to local people and disrupted the education of vulnerable children.
“This case is particularly upsetting as the Kingfisher Special School has had to pay to get the site cleared and it will impact on the education facilities available to the pupils. We would like to remind all landowners and occupiers that, as in this case, they may be required to clear waste which has been deposited illegally at their own expense and may be prosecuted if they fail to do so.”
In April 2018 Mr Heaton was fined at Tameside Magistrates for driving the vehicle without the correct driving licence, with false plates, no insurance or a valid MOT certificate and had his driving licence endorsed with penalty points.
Greater Manchester Police seized the vehicle and following the statutory period the vehicle was crushed as no owner claimed the vehicle or made a claim for it.