Work Starts To Clear Illegal North Wales Skip Site

Work to clear a site storing waste illegally on the outskirts of a North Wales town starts this week.

Natural Resources Wales’ (NRW) specialist contractors will spend four weeks clearing high-risk waste from the site of Porthmadog Skip Hire, on the Penamser Industrial Estate in Porthmadog.

The site was abandoned by the operators in September 2016 following a successful prosecution by NRW.

Company owners, Michael, Patricia and Joseph Gaffey were found guilty of storing more waste than allowed in their yard, which was a risk to the local environment.

Sian Williams, NRW Head of Operations in North West Wales – “I hope this case sends out a strong message to the waste industry that we do not tolerate illegal operators that undercut responsible, permitted sites that comply with the law.”

They were each sentenced to 10 months in prison at Mold Crown Court in March 2017.

And last year, a hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act brought by NRW, saw the three partners ordered to pay around £350,000.

This, and a grant from the Welsh Government will contribute towards the cost of clearing the site, which are expected to be around £800,000.

The waste will be removed by Acumen Waste Services and taken to Llanddulas landfill site in Conwy. NRW will oversee the work throughout the operation.

Sian Williams, NRW Head of Operations in North West Wales said: “Storing waste illegally can harm the environment, pose a risk to human health and undermines legitimate businesses that invest in the required measures.

“The Proceeds of Crime settlement means that the offenders themselves will foot part of the bill for clearing the site,  re-couping some of the cost to the taxpayer.

“I hope this case sends out a strong message to the waste industry that we do not tolerate illegal operators that undercut responsible, permitted sites that comply with the law.

“We’ll make every effort to minimise disturbance to nearby businesses while this essential work is carried out.”


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  1. Surely prevention has to be better than the cure ?
    Whilst I fully appreciate that there will always be individuals who will blatantly flout the legislation.

    (Individuals who continue to cast a damaging black cloud re professionalism over the whole of the predominantly compliant waste industry).

    I also respectfully suggest that if the operator has been allowed to amass this volume, then it would appear that they have not had sufficient regulation by the relevant authorities, helping to avoid this situation , and now substantial clean up costs, potentially due to the regulators lack of resources. .

    Its a pity that the resources now being applied to the clean up , weren’t in place prior to this – to help avoid this shocking environmental issue.

    However I am not apportioning blame on the regulators as I fear that this type of incident is on the increase, as a result of prevailing and continuous Government policies relating to Austerity, not only to the waste industry but to all regulators and industries.

    People it would appear , are simply now more able to get away with breaking the rules !.

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