Two Cardiff firms have been ordered to pay a total of more than £200,000 for illegally handling waste on a site of special scientific interest (SSSI).
Atlantic Recycling and Neal Soil Suppliers in Rumney were charged with failing to comply with conditions of an environmental permit and keeping controlled waste in a manner likely to cause pollution or harm to human health.
David John Neal, owner and director of both companies, received a three month custodial sentence suspend for two years. He was ordered to pay £10,000 in costs.
The charges arose after a year-long investigation by the Environment Agency, Natural Resources Wales and South Wales Police. More than one million tonnes of industrial, construction and demolition waste (pictured, above) was examined on land within the Gwent Levels, Rumney and Peterstone SSSI.
Cardiff Magistrates Court heard how both companies knowingly took waste onto their site which they were incapable of treating safely and without the necessary permissions or pollution control infrastructure.
Being in a SSSI meant that local water courses and wildlife were susceptible to a wide range of contaminants found in the waste handled on site. Local residents were affected by strong odours, and industrial hazardous waste was also found among recycled construction.
The defendants pleaded guilty to the charges. Atlantic Recycling was fined £50,000 with costs of £51,000, while Neal Soil Suppliers was fined £55,000 with costs of £51,000.
Graham Hillier, Natural Resources Wales operations director south, said: “We will work with those who share our aims of making best use of Wales’s resources but those who seek to maximise profit at the costs to their customers and the environment will have poor prospects of remaining a viable business.”