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Duo imprisoned for six months after illegal waste fire

Two men have been sentenced to six months in prison for depositing illegal waste, which resulted in a four-week fire and cost taxpayers £1.6m.

Scott Phillips and Peter Thomas, directors of Globally Greener Solutions, were sentenced at Swansea Crown court on 1 November.

Their company was paid over a quarter of a million pounds to receive waste materials illegally.

In June this year at Swansea Crown Court, Phillips, from Neath, and Peter Thomas, from Swansea, pleaded guilty to charges of knowing or causing controlled waste to be deposited without an environmental permit.

They faced illegal waste offences dating back to 2008.

Furthermore, a building in Swansea West Industrial Estate at Fforestfach, caught fire on 16 June 2011. The blaze included waste tyre materials.

The fire took four weeks to extinguish and caused major disruption in the local area.

Smoke from the fire and ‘run-off’ from the water used to put out the fire had an impact on local air and water quality. There were also significant road closures.

Environment Agency Wales (now Natural Resources Wales), along with the emergency services, local authorities and other agencies, dealt with the fire and its environmental impact.

South Wales Police and Environment Agency Wales conducted a joint investigation into how the waste tyre material was deposited at the building.

They found that around 5,000 tonnes of tyre waste had been illegally dumped.

Moreover, Globally Greener Solutions had been paid £261,000 to accept the waste material.

Natural Resources Wales said that alleviating the incident cost the taxpayer over £1.6m for the removal of 1,000 lorry loads of waste from the site.

Dorothy Thomas, another director at Globally Greener Solutions, was found not guilty.

Mary Youell for Natural Resources Wales said: “The sentences handed out by the court should send out a clear message to those intent on breaking the law. 

“There are rules in place for dealing with waste tyres to prevent this kind of incident from happening. The fire caused major disruption to homes and businesses as well as polluting rivers and the air of the surrounding area. It was also difficult and costly to deal with this incident.”

Tyre fire Fforestfach 2

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