A company director and the two companies he owned have been ordered to pay a total of £70,000 after pleading guilty to 20 charges of illegally dumping waste across seven sites around northern Cumbria.
Richard Allan, Brampton Skip Hire and North West Recycling were handed a total of £40,000 in fines and ordered to pay £30,000 costs at Carlisle Magistrates Court.
Environment Agency (EA) investigations found both companies failed to comply with EA permit conditions.
It was found that waste was leaving company sites without the required environmental risk checks. The waste was then spread illegally over seven sites under Allen’s direction.
The judge stated that the level of fines must indicate a “serious view” of regulations breach and that the public needed to see the legal system is “concerned for the protection of the environment”.
In mitigation the judge said Allen had entered the waste disposal industry “as a young man with the best of intentions” and that “problems stemmed from the growth of his business and his ambitions to develop it”. This led to him accumulating too much waste.
EA lead investigating officer, Catherine Evans, said: “Where waste is illegally deposited, this has the potential to cause serious pollution incidents and harm human health.
“This prosecution highlights that we take waste crime extremely seriously and will not hesitate to prosecute, if necessary, to protect the environment and local communities.”