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£70,000 bill for waste-cheat family

A family has been hit with a £71,844 bill for running an illegal waste site the size of four football pitches.

Jimmy Rawlings, 36, was fined £42,000, while his mum and dad were fined £10,000 each and the three were ordered to pay a total of £9,844 costs.

George Rawlings, 65, and Christine Rawlings, 55, allowed Jimmy to run First Skip Hire on their land off Green Lane in Burghfield, Berkshire.

Skips filled with assorted waste, including asbestos, car batteries, metals and plastics, were brought to the site and burnt, sold or stockpiled.

The Environment Agency (EA) gave the Rawlings verbal and written instructions to stop the illegal activities.

They pleaded guilty to a total of 17 offences and were sentenced at Newbury Magistrates Courts on Tuesday February 22.

EA Thames Region principal solicitor Barry Kochanek said: "Spread over an area the size of four football pitches, this was an enormous blot on the landscape with many potential risks to human health and the local environment.

"The motives of the family responsible were purely financial and they had no regard at all for the well-being of the neighbouring community or the surrounding ecology.

"Legitimate waste operators are strictly controlled. If they are storing, transporting or disposing of waste, they must hold a Waste Management Licence and rigidly adhere to the terms of it.

"Unlicensed operators seek to gain a commercial advantage over their legitimate competitors by ignoring the safeguards in place. In doing so, they place themselves, their customers and the wider community at great risk.

"The EA, as the Rawlings have found out to their great cost, will take every necessary step to bring such intolerable and selfish behaviour to an end."

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