The operators of a Cornish waste company have been fined and ordered to pay costs totalling £1,000 for breaches of environmental permits dating back to 2013.
The site has had its environmental permit revoked meaning it can no longer operate as a waste facility.
The case was brought by the Environment Agency.
Christopher and Karen Prynn, who traded as St Eval Recycling Company, were sentenced at Bodmin Magistrates Court on 13 May 2016 after pleading guilty to 4 offences of breaching Environmental Regulations at a previous hearing. These breaches included failing to comply with permit conditions, failing to comply with an enforcement notice and failing to remove waste from the site once the permit had been revoked.
An environmental permit was issued to Christopher Prynn and Karen Prynn, to allow them to operate a household, commercial and industrial waste transfer station on land at St Eval Recycling. Waste volumes built up at the site and in 2015 enforcement notices were served by the Environment Agency to ensure waste volumes were reduced to manageable levels allowed by the environmental permit. The operators did not take sufficient action and the volumes of waste were not reduced.
The permitted site sits on an old airfield and the operators used an adjoining area of land to operate their Padstow sea sand business.
The Environment Agency suspended their permit on 31 July 2015 for non-payment of fees totalling £11,679.11. The permit has since been revoked under operator competence grounds.
They were both fined £200, and each ordered to pay £300 costs. Bodmin Magistrates said they ‘wanted to make it clear that the penalty being imposed does not affect the negligence or the impact of the offending on the environment or community. If you did have more money, the penalty would be substantially more.’ The Environment Agency asked the court to make an order requiring Christopher and Karen Prynn to remove the waste left on site which poses the greatest risk to the environment, but this was not granted.
Clarissa Newell, for the Environment Agency, said:
There are significant areas within the waste sector where we must raise standards. Our focus is on illegal waste activities, mis-described waste, persistent poor performers, risk of fire, sham recovery, and debt recovery.
We will always try and work with operators to achieve the desired outcomes but unfortunately, for those that do not respond and who repeatedly flout the rules or pose a significant risk of harm or nuisance, we must take appropriate enforcement action.
This waste business has been closed down after a prolonged period of permit non-compliance. The permit for the site was suspended on 31 July 2015 for failure to pay annual subsistence fees and then revoked with effect from 1 October 2015, which meant the permit to operate a waste transfer station has been taken away.
Clarissa Newell added:
Despite being warned about non-compliance and an enforcement notice, St Eval Recycling failed to respond to our requests. This prosecution shows that we take our responsibilities seriously and will not hesitate to prosecute if necessary.