A haulier and his company have been fined more than half a million pounds for illegally storing thousands of tonnes of baled refuse-derived fuel (RDF).
Winters Haulage used an unpermitted site next to Royston sewage treatment works on the Hertfordshire/Cambridgeshire border, and stockpiled 450 bales of RDF at a nearby horse training centre (pictured).
At Cambridge Magistrates’ Court the company was fined £510,000 and ordered to pay costs of £30,000.
Company director Liam Patrick Winters was ordered to pay £8,850 in costs and to perform 180 hours of unpaid work.
He had pleaded guilty to operating the site without an environmental permit, depositing waste at a site that lacked a permit and failing to provide a written description of the waste transferred.
Environment Agency (EA) team leader Phil Henderson said: “Illegally stockpiling thousands of tonnes of waste in this manner has potentially devastating impacts on the environment, communities and transport infrastructure.”
The court heard that when the EA ordered Winters to clear his Royston site, some went to permitted sites but without the necessary waste transfer notes.
Some 450 bales of waste were left illegally at the Kings Ride racehorse training facility, and some baled RDF was later found buried at the Royston site close to the sewage works and above a sensitive chalk aquifer.
Agency officers became suspicious when the cleared Royston site appeared to have changed level by up to 1.5m, and they later discovered that the chalk bedrock had been excavated by up to 3.1m.
Winters’ lawyer told the court that he planned to store the RDF temporarily and “never intended to undermine the statutory regime”.