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Unlicensed operator 'burnt waste for friends'

An unregistered carrier who collected waste from friends and relatives and burned it illegally to avoid disposal costs has been ordered to undergo 250 hours of unpaid work, along with other penalties.

George Charlton, of Manor Way, Jarrow, had previously appeared before Gateshead Magistrates’ Court and admitted operating a waste site at Bill Quay in Gateshead without a permit, and illegally burning waste there.

Environment Agency (EA) solicitor Laura Taylor told the court that Charlton collected waste from friends and relatives and took it to the site without registering as a waste carrier. He also had no environmental permit to store and sort the waste at the yard.

EA officers visited the site in April 2016 and saw a pile of waste on fire along with waste including furniture, beds, mattresses, wood and electrical items strewn across the site.

Charlton, who was on-site at the time, said he was looking after it for his son. He became aggressive but the officers said the fire needed to be put out. Charlton extinguished the fire before leaving the area.

The waste remained on-site so the EA wrote to Charlton in July telling him to stop all waste activities on the site and clear all waste by 15 August. After the deadline, EA officers saw there were still large piles of mixed waste and evidence of burning.

Charlton said his son was the legal owner of the site and that he had been looking after the yard since 2013.

He said he attended the site around twice a week to deposit rubbish from friends and relatives. He said he would weigh in the scrap metal for money and cut up wood and other items to burn them.

He was sentenced to an 18-month community order, 250 hours of unpaid work, a 30-day rehabilitation activity requirement and ordered to pay costs of £750.

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