The director of a Midlands skip hire company has been jailed for illegal waste activities.
Ranbir Singh was sentenced to 18 months at Wolverhampton Crown Court and disqualified from being a director of a company for seven years.
Another director, Reginald Baldwin, was given six months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, and was disqualified from being a director of a company for seven years. He was also ordered to carry out 200 hours unpaid work in the community.
Langley Skip Hire (Midlands) was fined a total of £100,000.
A confiscation under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 will be decided at a future court hearing. Operating and disposal costs to date have been calculated to be around £230,000.
The defendants pleaded guilty at earlier court hearings, while another defendant, Balwant Singh Baghria, is due to be sentenced on 21 February, following consideration of medical evidence.
The court heard that between July 2010 and July 2012 the defendants engaged in large-scale, commercial tipping operations at two sites in Oldbury.
Waste was stored above the maximum storage capacities to dangerous levels at The Yard, Nelson Street. Waste was then deposited illegally at Butler’s Yard, Parsonage Street, for which there was no environmental permit.
Despite interventions from the Environment Agency (EA), Health and Safety Executive and Sandwell Planning Authority, operations continued. Ranbir Singh was arrested in July 2011, bringing an end to operations.
The EA incurred costs of just over £101,000 to clear some of the Nelson Street waste. The waste at Butler’s Yard is still in place causing problems with odour, rats and crickets. It is estimated that removal could cost upwards of £1m.
Honour Judge Walsh said the offences were a deliberate breach of environmental legislation which had an adverse effect on the amenity of the local area and resulted in substantial costs being incurred by others.
David Hudson, EA environment manager said: “In the past few months, we have seen a marked toughening in sentences passed by the courts. Many have led to prison sentences. In the Midlands we now have six waste offenders serving a total of 59 months in prison.
“We are increasingly using the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 to trace the money made by their illegal trade and to make polluters pay for their actions.”