A man has been ordered to pay £215,000 after being found to have illegally stored 1,000 tones of waste at a site in Ayrshire.
The Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) was called to the site on Moorpark Road East, Stevenston, after being contacted by a concerned resident.
William Boyd was found to be storing around 1,000 tones of waste, majorly exceeding the maximum 200-tonne limit, at the site located next to a public park with housing just 20 metres away.
The 61-year-old had previously pled guilty at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court to environmental breaches committed between 2016 and 2019.
SEPA estimated the volume of waste on site in January 2019 to be around 1,000 tonnes, which majorly exceeds the maximum 200-tonne limit.
The agency sent officials to the sight regularly to provide Boyd with guidance and advice on what was needed to make Boyd’s business compliant.
Boyd, who traded from the site as Boyd Brothers Skip Hire, was found not to have complied with the terms of his Waste Management Licence (WML) by depositing and keeping waste exceeding the maximum amount of waste that he could store at the site.
The waste was stored in large unsegregated piles for periods exceeding the maximum duration permitted by his WML and without regard for the environmental impact this could have.
A notice of partial suspension of the WML was served in November 2016 and Boyd was advised to not accept new waste.
However, SEPA officials found that Boyd was still receiving and storing waste after carrying out more visits to the site.
Boyd also failed to make quarterly written returns to SEPA regarding waste types, quantities received, treated, and sent off-site.
As a result, Boyd was served with a confiscation order last January instructing him to pay £215,000 under proceeds of crime legislation.
Speaking after the sentencing, Iain Batho, who leads on wildlife and environmental crime for the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS), said: “Waste Management Licences and the conditions set out in them are intended to minimise the risk of environmental pollution, prevent harm to human health and serious impact on the local area.
“By refusing to make the site fit for purpose, William Boyd showed a disregard for the environment and caused significant anxiety to local residents.
“He will now pay a substantial financial penalty for his crimes.
“The Crown Office & Procurator Fiscal Service take a rigorous approach to environmental crime and are committed to taking effective and appropriate prosecutorial action.”
Calum McGregor, unit manager of SEPA’s environmental crime team, said: “SEPA officers will always try to work with businesses to resolve issues first and we are clear that operators who work with us will find a helpful and supportive agency.
“However, those who deliberately do the wrong thing will get the uncompromising regulator their behaviour deserves.
“By contravening the conditions of his waste management licence, Mr Boyd was able to avoid expenses incurred by other businesses operating within the law.
“Also, by knowingly permitting the deposit of waste on site without the authority of a waste management licence he diverted waste away from legitimate waste businesses undermining the regulatory regime.
“This is unacceptable and we hope that the conviction and the sizeable POCA Confiscation Order sends a strong message to those operating within the waste sector that SEPA will take appropriate enforcement action against those who persist with such unlawful business practices – and there are significant consequences to doing so.”
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