A man has been fined after pleading guilty to running an illegal waste site on land in County Durham.
Following an investigation by the Environment Agency, James Ian Campbell, 56, of Plantation View, Howden Le Wear in Crook, appeared at Darlington Magistrates Court on Wednesday, May 27, where he pleaded guilty to a charge against environmental permitting regulations.
He was fined £550, ordered to pay costs of £800 and a victim surcharge of £55.
Acting on behalf of the Environment Agency, solicitor Nigel Augustin told the court the site at Stanley Moss, between Sunniside and Crook, was used to import waste, segregate it into valuable parts that could be sold on and dispose of waste that had no value by burning it.
During site visits in the summer of 2014, Environment Agency officers saw items including mattresses, a large number of car tyres, metal springs and frames had been burned, and saw stripped down washing machines, cookers, fridges and a television.
On speaking to Campbell, he said the waste on the site was there because he’d loaded it from his vehicle, which was off the road, and he would clear the site when his vehicle was repaired. He added he had a licence for the scrap metal and only burned wood and cardboard.
He was advised the licence would allow him to carry scrap metal but not to store, deposit or dispose of mixed waste. He was advised of the steps to take to ensure he had the correct permits in place to bring his activities within the law.
But in September 2014, a further site visit saw in excess of fifty car and heavy goods vehicle tyres at the site.
Waste crime has a detrimental effect on local communities and the environment and can undermine legitimate businesses. Anyone who has information about waste crimes can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.