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Six sentenced after fires hit illegally stored waste

One man has been jailed, three given suspended prison sentences and two given community orders for serious environmental permit breaches on waste sites that resulted in numerous fires.

The environmental offences were committed by corporate officers working for Nottinghamshire Recycling and Park Farming, in relation to three sites in Worksop, Nottinghamshire, and Kiveton and South Anston in South Yorkshire.

According to the prosecution, the two companies repeatedly operated outside the terms of their environmental permits for financial gain.

Among other permit breaches, waste was stored in huge quantities outside of the businesses’ permitted areas. Waste was also blended at both the Worksop and Kiveton sites in an attempt to avoid higher rates of landfill tax.

The company paid no heed to repeated warnings about the illegal storage of waste at all three sites, and the fire risks at Worksop. This resulted in five fires at Nottinghamshire Recycling’s Worksop site during 2013 and 2014.

Documents found showed that company officers were fully aware that all three sites were operated illegally, despite the fact that Nottinghamshire Recycling had been convicted in 2011 for offences it had committed at Shireoaks Road.

Large stockpiles of various wastes deposited illegally by the companies at the three sites still remain and continue to have an environmental impact. Both Nottinghamshire Recycling and Park Farming entered administration during the period of the investigation. They have since gone into liquidation.

Kevin Malcom Burgess of Manton Forest Farm, Worksop; Warren Richard Steele of Drury Lane, Doncaster; David Vincent Berry of Orchard Court, South Normanton; Edward Charles Freeman of Stephen Hill, Sheffield; Martin Crowther of Chapel Rise, Anston, Sheffield and Peter Charles Sanderson of Peak Close, Bramley, Rotherham, were sentenced on 30 October at Sheffield Crown Court.

Judge Robert Moore said the conduct of four of the companies’ directors in breaking the law had been deliberate, while a fifth had acted negligently. The actions of a site manager were judged to have been reckless in aiding and abetting the offending that took place at Kiveton and South Anston.

In mitigation, the judge noted that all defendants had pleaded guilty to the charges they faced and applied an appropriate reduction to their sentences. He also commented that the defendants had not made personal financial gain as a result of the offences. All six defendants were of previous good character.

The sentences imposed by the judge were as follows:

  • Kevin Burgess – 21 months’ immediate custodial sentence. Disqualification from being a director for seven years.
  • Edward Freeman – Eight months’ custody suspended for two years with a requirement to perform 150 hours of unpaid work. Contribution towards prosecution costs of £5,000.
  • Warren Steele – Six months’ custody suspended for two years with a requirement to perform 100 hours of unpaid work. Contribution towards prosecution costs of £5,000.
  • Peter Sanderson – Eight months’ custody suspended for two years with a requirement to perform 150 hours of unpaid work. Contribution towards prosecution costs of £5,000.
  • Martin Crowther – 12-month community order with a requirement to perform 80 hours of unpaid work. Contribution towards prosecution costs of £1,500.
  • David Berry – 12-month community order with a requirement to perform 100 hours of unpaid work. Contribution towards prosecution costs of £5,000.

Iain Regan, Environment Agency waste regulatory specialist, said: “This was a large and complex investigation, and one in which Nottinghamshire Recycling at various stages deliberately attempted to mislead us as the regulator.

”Companies like Nottinghamshire Recycling distort the waste market by unfairly undercutting legitimate waste businesses, making it difficult for compliant firms to compete.

“This causes erosion of the legal waste sector and standards‎, resulting in an industry which is vulnerable to domination by illegal operators who have no concern for protecting the public or the environment.”‎

Offences

1. Operating a regulated facility except under and in accordance with an environmental permit, contrary to Regulations 38(1)(a) and 41(1) of the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010 – Kevin Burgess, Warren Steele, David Berry, Edward Freeman and Peter Sanderson. Worksop offence.

2. Keeping controlled waste in a manner likely to cause pollution of the environment or harm to human health, contrary to Sections 33(1)(c), 33(6) and 157 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 – Kevin Burgess, Warren Steele, David Berry and Edward Freeman. Worksop offence.

3. Operating a regulated facility except under and in accordance with an environmental permit, contrary to Regulations 38(1)(a) and 41(1) of the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010 – Kevin Burgess, Warren Steele, David Berry and Edward Freeman. Martin Crowther, at the same place and time, did aid, abet, counsel and procure those persons to commit the said offence. Kiveton offence.

4. Operating a regulated facility except under and in accordance with an environmental permit, contrary to Regulations 38(1)(a) and 41(1) of the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010 – Kevin Burgess. Martin Crowther, at the same place and time, did aid abet, counsel and procure Kevin Burgess to commit the said offence. South Anston offence.

 

 

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