Three companies have been fined a total of £31,000 after dumping construction and demolition waste on a site near Doncaster.
According to Environment Agency (EA) investigations in 2011, the waste deposited at the Hurst Plantation site contained asbestos.
During sentencing at Doncaster Magistrates Court this week, Wykeham Estates (Northern) Limited were fined £3,000 and ordered to pay £5,500 costs and a £15 victim surcharge. The judge gave an order for Wykeham Estates to remove the waste legally within eight months.
Bolland Skip Services Limited was fined £6,000. Westmoreland Waste Recycling Limited was fined £5,250. Both companies were also ordered to pay £5,500 costs and a £15 victim surcharge.
District Judge Bennett said that this was a reckless breach of the law by Wykeham Estates with the potential to cause environmental harm, and that as both Bolland and Westmoreland have been in the waste industry for a long time they should have been aware of the legal requirements.
The charges were brought by the EA under the Environmental Permitting (England & Wales) Regulations 2010 and the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
The judge added that Parliament has made the Environmental Permitting Regulations to protect the environment and the £50,000 statutory maximum fine in the Magistrates’ Courts demonstrates how seriously environmental crime should be treated.
The EA officer in charge of the investigation said: “Illegal waste sites and in this case, where asbestos and other harmful contaminants were found in the waste, has the potential to cause serious pollution incidents or harm human health.
“This prosecution demonstrates that we take waste crime very seriously and will not hesitate to prosecute if necessary, to protect the environment and local communities.”