A Cambridgeshire waste operator has been sentenced to 4 months in prison, suspended for 2 years.
Cambridge Magistrates’ Court heard that the site in Long Drove began as a skip hire site but soon became an unpermitted waste transfer station.
Stop notices were twice placed on the business but Daniel Lee Crockwell, aged 35, of Milton Road, Cambridge, carried on operating.
On 26 July 2018 Mr Gurjit Bdesha, prosecuting for the Environment Agency, told the court: “He ignored advice and guidance given to him on numerous visits by Agency officers.”
Crockwell had no previous waste experience but tried to compete with established businesses in the area. As well as the suspended prison sentence, magistrates ordered Crockwell to pay £5,592 costs.
“Whilst the Environment Agency seeks to work with operators who co-operate and want to comply with the law, we will take action against those who don’t. Always make sure you are operating legally before embarking on a waste management activity or you are likely to get a visit from our enforcement officers.”
The site of Cambridge Skip Hire at Half Acre Site was first visited by Environment Agency investigating officers in August 2016. No-one was around so a letter was left asking the business to make contact, but it failed to do so and a stop letter was placed on the business.
In November 2016 officers tracked down Crockwell, the company director, who reluctantly agreed to meet them at the site. Mr Bdesha told magistrates: “He told them he needed a few weeks to clear the site and would meet with them again.”
Crockwell agreed to clear the site by 16 February 2017 but failed to do so and eventually the landowners took control of the site and cleared it themselves.
Mr Bdesha said Crockwell had taken a risk in running the business illegally and had only ever held a waste carriers’ licence during the year of operating at Long Drove.
He had eventually stopped taking in extra waste in November 2017 and closed down his website and disconnected the phones at the same time.
Mr Bdesha said that before a waste transfer station could be operated at the site there would have had to have been improvements to the infrastructure to protect the environment. Planning and health and safety requirements would also have been needed.
After the hearing, Environment Agency Enforcement Team Leader Phil Henderson said: “Whilst the Environment Agency seeks to work with operators who co-operate and want to comply with the law, we will take action against those who don’t.
“Always make sure you are operating legally before embarking on a waste management activity or you are likely to get a visit from our enforcement officers.”