A Kent skip hire company and its owner have been ordered to pay a total of £17,120 after an Environment Agency (EA) investigation found them operating its permitted site illegally.
Medway-based Walsh Skip Hire was fined £10,000 with costs of £5,000 after pleading guilty to the offences at Maidstone Magistrates’ Court, while the firm’s owner Peter Walsh was fined £1,500, with costs of £500 and a victim surcharge of £120.
Charges were brought when the EA investigation found a “significant” amount of waste on and surrounding the firm’s site at Knight Road, Strood, which exceeded the environmental permit limits for non-hazardous and inert wastes.
EA manager Alan Cansdale said: “The limits within Walsh’s environmental permit reflect the limited space and infrastructure at the site, which is crucial as the mismanagement of waste can have a detrimental impact on the local environment.
“The site operator had a history of poor performance and my team have worked with him in the past to improve the situation, however on this occasion he was unable to do so.”
The court heard how site inspections in 2013 identified multiple permit breaches, with excessive amounts of waste on the property and the site infrastructure in a state of disrepair.
EA officers worked with the site operator to address these issues and agreed a course of action; but these actions were not taken.
Two enforcement notices were issued in May 2014 with staged timescales to bring the site into compliance by September 2014, including adhering with the conditions of the environmental permit and removing the huge stockpile of waste.
But in September 2014 the site was still far below the standards required with the EA noting multiple permit breaches, including the large stockpile of mixed waste on and off the permitted area.