TWO men, including one from Redditch, have pleaded guilty at Redditch Magistrates Court to the illegal burial of waste in Upton Warren, Bromsgrove.
Colin Leslie Parsons, aged 69, of Kidderminster was fined £4,000, and ordered to pay £6,000 in costs, along with a £15 victim surcharge, for operating a waste facility without an environmental permit.
Terry Dean Jacobs, aged 44, from Redditch, who knowingly permitted the operation of a regulated facility without an environmental permit, was fined £4,000, and ordered to pay £6,000 in costs, along with a £15 victim surcharge.
The charges were brought by the Environment Agency under Regulation 38 (1) and regulation 12 (1) of the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010.
Following a call from the public regarding a large scale landfill operation that was allegedly operated by Colin Parsons and Sons Limited, in July 2011, Environment Agency officers investigated the site on land at West Lodge Farm, Swan Lane, Upton Warren. The site which lies in a rural area, surrounded by agricultural land and buildings, held no authorisation for waste management activities.
Terry Jacobs owned the land and had received payment to allow the burial of waste at the site between July 1 and October 2 2011. During this period, Mr Parsons hired excavating equipment and a wagon to transport waste to the field.
During a visit to the site in August 2011, Environment Agency officers discovered a large disturbed area of ground with black plastic bags and plastic protruding out of the soil, and a fresh pile of soil to the side. It appeared waste had been buried there. Plant machinery on site was traced back to Mr Parsons. On a visit to the site in September, officers noticed that the excavated area appeared to have been covered over and seeded. The area of land which had been filled was estimated to be in the region of 52x52 metres.
In October 2011, environment officers, accompanied by West Mercia Police, investigated the site. Three trenches were dug, uncovering a mix of plastic, fabric, metal, glass, rubber and window frames. Mr Jacobs was interviewed under caution two weeks later, with Mr Parsons was interviewed in April 2012. Following developments, Mr Jacobs was interviewed again in June and Mr Parsons in October 2012.
In November 2012, a notice under Section 59 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 was served upon Mr Jacobs. This notice required all waste to be removed from the site by February 15 2013. This was not complied with and the judge found this to be a particular aggravating feature.
An Environment Agency spokesman said: “The defendants have been uncooperative throughout the investigation. By burying or allowing the burying of waste, they are risking damage to the environment and undercutting legitimate businesses for their own financial gain. This prosecution demonstrates we take waste crime very seriously and will not hesitate to prosecute if necessary, to protect the environment and local communities.”