A waste company in Worcester Park has been ordered to pay a total of £19,000 in fines and costs after today pleading guilty at Guildford Crown Court for operating an illegal waste transfer station.
Charges were brought when an Environment Agency investigation found Feely Skip & Grab Hire Ltd, of The Old Mill, Old Malden Lane, Worcester Park, Surrey, operating a waste facility without an environmental permit or exemption.
Company director Mr David Feely rented land in Worcester Park for parking and storage, but Environment Agency officers found that the site was actually being used as a waste transfer station for construction and demolition waste.
The court heard that the site was being used to store 4,000 tonnes of construction demolition waste, and at least 17 skips of builders’ waste including plastic piping, carpet off cuts, wooden panels, paper and cardboard.
Later under interview Mr Feely the company director admitted that he intended to clear the site quicker but the waste had got out of hand. Mr Feely pleaded not guilty and his offence was left on the file in view of the guilty plea by the company.
His Honour Judge Critchlow took into account the Sentencing Guidelines and the fact that Mr Feely had been warned about taking in waste in the past. He also found that this was not the most serious of offences, there was an early guilty plea and the defendant was making a contribution to the clearance costs incurred by the landlord. He therefore fined the company £10,000, ordered it to pay £9,000 towards the prosecution’s costs, and imposed a victim surcharge of £120.
Alan Cansdale, Environment Agency Environment Manager, said:
The court heard today how waste crime can undermine legitimate businesses. The company took in waste inappropriately, and the site posed a risk to the local environment.
Mr Feely was warned by his landlord on two previous occasions that he was breaking the law. In cases like this, where individuals or businesses operate illegally, the Environment Agency has no hesitation in prosecuting.