A Cambridgeshire waste operator has been sentenced to four months in prison, suspended for two years, for illegal storage of waste at a site in Waterbeach.
According to the Environment Agency, mixed commercial and construction/demolition waste was illegally stored at the Cambridge Skip Hire site, despite advice given by Agency officers.
Cambridge Magistrates’ Court heard that the site in Long Drove began as a skip hire site but soon became an unpermitted waste transfer station.
Stop notices were twice placed on the business but Daniel Lee Crockwell, aged 35, of Milton Road, Cambridge, carried on operating, the Agency reports.
On 26 July 2018 Mr Gurjit Bdesha, prosecuting for the Environment Agency, told the court that Mr Crockell ignored advice and guidance given to him on numerous visits by Agency officers.
Mr Crockwell had “no previous waste experience but tried to compete with established businesses in the area,” the Agency said. As well as the suspended prison sentence, magistrates ordered Crockwell to pay £5,592 costs.
The site of Cambridge Skip Hire at Half Acre Site was first visited by Environment Agency investigating officers in August 2016. “No-one was around so a letter was left asking the business to make contact, but it failed to do so and a stop letter was placed on the business,” the Agency added.
In November 2016 officers tracked down Mr Crockwell, the company director, who “reluctantly” agreed to meet them at the site, the Agency revealed.
Mr Bdesha told magistrates: “He told them he needed a few weeks to clear the site and would meet with them again.” Mr Crockwell agreed to clear the site by 16 February 2017 but failed to do so and eventually the landowners took control of the site and cleared it themselves.
Mr Bdesha said Mr Crockwell had taken a risk in running the business illegally and had only ever held a waste carriers’ licence during the year of operating at Long Drove.
He had eventually stopped taking in extra waste in November 2017 and closed down his website and disconnected the phones at the same time, the Agency explained.
Mr Bdesha said that before a waste transfer station could be operated at the site there would have had to have been improvements to the infrastructure to protect the environment. Planning and health and safety requirements would also have been needed.
“Whilst the Environment Agency seeks to work with operators who co-operate and want to comply with the law, we will take action against those who don’t.”
After the hearing, Environment Agency enforcement team leader Phil Henderson said: “Whilst the Environment Agency seeks to work with operators who co-operate and want to comply with the law, we will take action against those who don’t.
“Always make sure you are operating legally before embarking on a waste management activity or you are likely to get a visit from our enforcement officers.”
Crockwell pleaded guilty to:
Between 31 December 2015 and 31 December 2016 on land known as Half Acre Site, Long Drove, Waterbeach, CB25 9LR, you operated a regulated facility, namely a waste operation for the deposit, storage and treatment of waste without being authorised by an environmental permit granted under Regulation 13 of the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010.
Contrary to Regulation 12 and 38(1)(a) Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010.
More information on permitting waste activities.