In a statement published on 11 June, the Environment Agency said BRC Haulage, of Cygnet Park, Hampton, Peterborough, and its director Robert Canavan pleaded guilty to a number of charges at Northampton Magistrates Court on 9 June 2021.
The statement said this consisted of three charges of illegally depositing waste including waste soil and hard core, and five of breaching the company’s duty of care by failing to prepare transfer notes to document the nature of the waste leaving the site.
The site, at Monkton Sidings in Fineshade near Corby, had no environmental permit. The Agency said the site was operated by Stephen Lack, described by the regulator as a “serial waste offender”.
Mr Lack was jailed for 18 months in January and ordered to pay more than £12,500 in costs after a decade of waste offences. Mr Lack, trading under the name Abbey Skips (company number 04260850), “repeatedly” stockpiled waste at the Monkton Sidings site, the Agency said.
The Agency said BRC Haulage’s waste was stored on the bare ground, placing land and water resources including the neighbouring Fineshade Woods at risk.
Environment Agency lawyer Sarah Dunne told the court waste transfer notes were necessary to ensure waste was handled safely and correctly. She said BRC Haulage had “many years of experience” and knew that such documentation was required.
She also said they had prevented the Agency from effectively regulating the site and, by depositing waste at an unpermitted site, had saved costs and fees.
Defending BRC Haulage and Mr Canavan, barrister Mauro Maselli said the defendants apologised for their offending. He told the court they had co-operated with the Agency and had admitted the offences at an early stage.
Sentencing the defendants, the magistrates observed that this had been “reckless offending”, the Agency said.
Fining the company £5,000, BRC Haulage was told they had been in business long enough to understand that they were working in a “highly regulated industry” and that Mr Lack was not a lawful operator. The company was ordered to pay the Agency’s costs of £4,128.
Mr Canavan, of Park Road, Peterborough, was fined £768 and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £77.
‘Blight on our environment’
Yvonne Daly, manager at the Environment Agency, said: “Illegal waste sites like Monkton Sidings are a blight on our environment, countryside and to communities and legitimate business.
“We would advise members of the public to make their own due diligence checks when choosing a waste carrier before there is any commercial contractual agreement.”
A spokesperson for BRC Haulage disputed parts of the Environment Agency’s account.
The spokesperson told letsrecycle.com the BRC Haulage lorries had been registered to park on the site, but had not deposited waste there.
The spokesperson said they were removing waste from the site and the Agency had “put two and two together and come back with five”.
They added that BRC Haulage was “well-known in the industry” and “did not cut corners”, as to do so would not have benefitted the company in the way the Agency implied.