A persistent waste criminal has been jailed for 26 months for what the Environment Agency (EA) described as “industrial scale” abuses.
The EA said an estimated 26,000cu m of waste was dumped, buried or burned illegally at Throckmorton airfield in Worcestershire, comprising mainly of construction and demolition materials, including aluminum products classified as hazardous.
John Bruce, who trades as UK Plant Services, was sentenced for six charges in relation to unpermitted waste activity. The court also ordered confiscation proceedings under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
Bruce operated under a fraudulent waste carrier registration number using heavy goods vehicles and articulated tippers to remove waste from construction sites and permitted waste sites around the West Midlands, which was then deposited and “disposed of on an industrial scale by burning and burial”, an EA statement said. It said several high-risk fires had occurred.
The judge said this was serious environmental offending and there was a clear need for a deterrent sentence, although consideration was given for Bruce pleading guilty and avoiding a full trial.
An EA statement said: “Mr Bruce has shown a blatant disregard for the environment and local community, subjecting local residents to months of misery by bringing on large quantities of waste and burning it on-site.
“He operated a sustained large-scale illegal waste site at his farm. He imported, burned, buried and spread unsuitable polluting waste, causing pollution to the land and air, harm to the cattle and significant harm and disruption to local residents and businesses.”