Today, 22 November 2013, Easy Skip Hire Ltd of Doncaster was sentenced at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court to one charge relating to operating a waste transfer facility without an Environmental Permit. The company pleaded guilty at an earlier court hearing.
The company was fined £14,000, ordered to pay £3,131.87 in costs, along with a £120 victim surcharge.
The charge was brought by the Environment Agency under Regulation 12(1) and 38(1) (a) of the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010.
In May 2012, Environment Agency officers made a routine visit to Easy Skip Hire Ltd based at Kiveton Park Industrial Estate, Sheffield, and noticed a mixture of household, commercial and industrial waste was being stored on site. The company did not hold an Environmental Permit to store waste at the site, but did hold S2 and T12 Exemptions that allowed it to have materials on site for refurbishing or repairing items such as discarded furniture, bicycles and garden tools.
Officers advised the director of the company that he would need an Environmental Permit to operate a waste transfer station. He stated that he was aware of this and that he was in the process of applying for planning permission on a different unit on the estate and thereafter would apply for a permit.
During July and August 2012 officers revisited the site on numerous occasions and found various piles of waste was still being stored there. The company director was advised again about the limitations of the S2 and T12 Exemptions and the need to hold an Environmental Permit.
On 25 October 2012 an Enforcement Notice was served on the company requesting all documentation and waste transfer notes between 10 July 2012 and 25 October 2012. The Environment Agency did not receive these documents so officers visited the site again on 8 November 2012 and noticed it was locked up but the waste piles had reduced. Officers contacted the company director who stated he had found a new site. Another Enforcement Notice was issued to the company and on 16 November 2012 officers received a letter and the waste transfer notes.
Officers visited the site again on 20 December 2012 and found the waste had been cleared.
Speaking after the case, an Environment Agency officer in charge of the investigation said: “Easy Skip Hire Ltd allowed waste to be brought onto its site without being permitted to do so, undermining those who legitimately operate within the law. The waste was stored on the ground and not contained, and during this time there was heavy rainfall causing large amounts of standing water on the site. This had the potential to produce contaminated water and severe damage to the environment. This prosecution demonstrates that we take waste crime very seriously and will not hesitate to prosecute if necessary, to protect the environment and local communities.”
In mitigation, the company was given credit for its early guilty plea.