EA shuts down high-risk Nottinghamshire waste site

The Environment Agency (EA) has successfully prosecuted a 49-year old man for the operation of an illegal waste site.

Tony Briggs-Price, of Balderton, Nottinghamshire, was fined £840 for storing, treating and disposing of waste on land, as well as being ordered to pay prosecution costs of £2,000 in a case heard at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday 24 August.

The illegal waste siteBriggs-Price, who had previously worked in the waste industry and was familiar with the legal requirements associated with environmental regulation, was operating an illegal waste site on land at his home in Nottinghamshire without an environmental permit.

In November of 2018, the EA and Nottinghamshire Police officers found large piles of waste at the site, including approximately 100 tonnes of construction and demolition waste; approximately 160 tonnes of general mixed waste, including plastics and household waste; approximately 400 tonnes of soil, and approximately one tonne of wood waste.

Evidence was also found at the site of recent waste burning, including smoke from the waste site, scorch marks and ash on the ground, smouldering and scorched metal items, and blackened metal coils consistent with the burning of mattresses.

The defendant had ignored three separate invitations to attend an interview under caution in 2019.

Robert Vickers, the investigating officer at the EA, said: “We hope this case will send a clear message that we do not hesitate to take action to protect the environment and bring perpetrators to justice. Mr Briggs-Price operated the site without the required permit which, as well as undermining the regulatory regime, also had an impact on lawful waste operators.”

“We are actively targeting illegal waste activities across the country and would urge all those seeking to become involved in the waste industry to ensure they have the appropriate permits and authorisations in place before commencing their operations.”

The past week has also seen the closure and clearance of an illegal waste site in Houghton-le-Spring by the EA, following reports from the surrounding community to Sunderland City Council, pertaining to two allotments housing a rudimentary waste transfer station.

The waste, which included tyres, refrigerators, bathtubs and doors, was being collected from local house clearances and illegally sorted to recover valuables. The remainder was then reportedly left in-situ, on unmade grounds, where it presented a risk to the environment and public health.

Andrew Turner, Area Environment Manager for the EA, said: “Our waste team acted swiftly to protect local people and the environment by shutting down this illegal waste site. This should act as a warning to any person or business who transports, treats, stores or deposits waste without the required environmental permit – you are breaking the law and we will not hesitate to take action.

“Landlords and landowners also need to take care because if waste is left illegally on any land, as happened in this case, they have responsibility for removing it. Following our initial investigations into this case, we wrote to the landowner and those renting the allotment letting them know there could be serious consequences if the illegal activity did not stop immediately and the site cleared.

“Thankfully our advice was taken on board and the waste has now been removed. This is a great result for the local community and demonstrates the impact our regulation has on tackling waste crime.”

This comes as the EA has announced its recent progress on illegal waste reduction targets. In its Q4 corporate scorecard, the organisation records that it has reduced the number of high-risk illegal waste sites by 206, coming close to its Q4 target of 216. Both the reduction of high-risk sites and active illegal waste sites was higher than the previous quarter.