A landowner who made an estimated £23,000 by charging people to dump waste illegally on his property has been given a suspended prison sentence.
Robert Cooper, of Hicks Leaze Farm, Chelworth in Wiltshire, charged between £10 per 20-tonne load for green waste and £40 for construction and demolition waste (C&D).
Environment Agency (EA) officers visited the site and saw four large mounds of C&D waste, the biggest of which was approximately 65m long, 7m wide and up to 7m high in places.
The EA calculated Cooper could have made more than £23,000 from his illegal activities.
He was sentenced at Swindon Magistrates Court on 5 June for operating a regulated waste facility without the necessary environmental permit (contrary to regulations 12 (1)(a) and 38 of the Environmental Permitting Regulations 2010) between 9 April and 10 July 2014.
Cooper, who had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing, was given a 12-week prison sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered to perform 200 hours of unpaid work.
The court also ordered him to pay the EA’s full costs of £13,027.35. He was given credit for his early guilty plea and co-operating with the EA.
The investigation followed complaints from members of the public about the burning of material and the number of lorries dumping waste on site. Cooper did not have a permit for the site and, although he did have six waste exemptions, none allowed him to carry out the types of activities seen by officers.