Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of MRW, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Wood recycling boss fined for illegal sites

A wood recycling company boss has been ordered to pay a total of £8,800 in fines and costs for operating illegal waste sites in Gloucestershire.

Sam Phelps, who ran XP Wood Recycling, admitted two charges of deliberately operating illegal waste sites.

He was fined £400 for each offence, ordered to pay a contribution to the prosecution costs of £8,000, along with the victim surcharge of £40 following an Environment Agency (EA) prosecution at Cheltenham Magistrates Court.

Phelps ran two sites, one at Pilning where he accepted wood waste and shredded it, before transferring it to a second site at Sharpness Docks.

He ran the sites without environmental permits, avoiding permitting fees of £13,489 and received an estimated profit from his illegal operations in excess of £40,000.

EA officers estimated the waste wood pile found on the Pilning site (pictured) was between 3,500 and 4,000 tonnes, 3,000 tonnes more than the amount allowed under the registered exemption.

The waste had not been turned or separated to create fire breaks, despite Phelps being asked to do so to reduce the risk of fire, and no measures were in place to prevent water run-off from the storage.

An EA officer estimated a pile of shredded waste wood at the Sharpness Docks site to be at least four times the authorised amount.

Fire officers assessed the site as posing a risk to nearby housing.

Phelps knew he needed an environmental permit and was aware that exemptions he held limited the amounts of wood, but he could not remember what they were, the EA said.

Speaking after the case, the EA officer in charge of the investigation said: “Waste crime is a serious offence with tough penalties as it can damage the environment, blight local communities and undermine those who operate legally.

“This case sends out a clear message that we will not hesitate to prosecute individuals when they do not abide by the law.”

In a separate case, a Glasgow food manufacturer was fined £8,600 at Glasgow Sheriff Court for failing to comply with packaging waste regulations.

Walter Black Foods, of Drumhead Road, Cambuslang Investment Park, pleaded guilty to failing to comply with Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations.

The company has also paid £28,538 as a confiscation order under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.