Following their admission of a series of breaches, the two former owners of a waste transfer business in Cornwall, south west England have been ordered to clear the site within the next 18 months, and have each received fines for the offences.
The Environment Agency, which brought the prosecution, explained that David and Donna Shrigley – acting as directors of DRS Demolition National Ltd - breached an environmental permit by depolluting vehicles, illegally storing and handling waste, including plasterboard, wood, green waste and trommel fines.
The company, Located at Domellick Manor, St Dennis, St Austell, before it went into liquidation, also failed to comply with an enforcement notice on 22 April 2015, which required the reduction of waste on the site by 500 tonnes.
Following permit breaches in April and August 2014, the company had agreed to submit to a voluntary improvement plan.
However, according to the EA it failed to comply with this, as well as an enforcement notice to reduce the waste destined for landfill, and by April 2015 the quantity had increased. It was also said to gave also failed to comply with a further notice to remove all waste by 9 December 2015.
The EA added that on 11 December 2015 the pair knowingly permitted the carrying on of a waste operation without an environmental permit.
Bodmin Magistrates heard that the quantity of waste still at the site presented a considerable fire and pollution risk. The waste site, described as an ‘eyesore’, is near both a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a Special Area of Conservation at the Goss and Tregoss moors and is owned personally by Mr and Mrs Shrigley.
Magistrates decided that David Shrigley, formally of Carthew Farm, St Dennis, had been reckless in his offending and Donna Shrigley, of Green Lane, Morpeth, Northumberland, negligent.
“The company had been continuing to accept waste onto the site which generated income, but failed to process and transfer it off site which reduced expenditure, undermined legitimate business and posed a risk to the environment,” commented a spokesman for the Environment Agency.
David Shrigley was ordered to pay a total of £6052 in fines and costs, and Donna Shrigley £4234 after pleading guilty to three offences.
UK trade association, the Environmental Services Association (ESA) has called for stronger implementation of the government’s Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs’ (Defra) Hazardous Waste Strategy.
An investigation by the Environment Agency that uncovered the illegal dumping of some 60,000 tonnes of waste in Cornwall has led to heavy fines for three of the men involved.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has published a video explaining the work being done at the Whitmoyer Laboratories site, located in Jackson Township, Pennsylvania.