A Stockton-on-Tees plastic recycler has been fined £4,800 for illegally storing thousands of litres of hazardous waste.
Glenn Walsh, owner of Stockton Industrial Services, was found to be stockpiling waste water that had been used to clean plastic containers.
The court was told that the company was permitted to accept and sort clean containers, ready for processing elsewhere, but was not allowed to empty and wash them.
Any residue in the containers is classed as hazardous waste and cannot be accepted or stored on-site.
During a routine inspection of the site by Environment Agency (EA) officers in September 2014, a large number of square drums for containing liquid were discovered.
They were estimated to contain 30,000-40,000 litres of hazardous liquids, which tests showed to be mineral oil, edible oil and solvents.
Walsh admitted two offences of failing to comply with his environmental permit, one offence of storing controlled waste without a permit and one offence of failing to contain the waste.
At Teesside Magistrates Court on 28 July, Walsh was fined £1,200 for each offence and ordered to pay EA court fees of £6,000.
EA team leader Tristan Drought said: “Our permits are in place to protect people and the environment, and the illegal storage of hazardous waste can have potentially devastating consequences.”