Waste site operator Barry Connally, director of Rhino Recycling Limited, was given a suspended prison sentence after operating the site in Pershore illegally.
Connally, 68, of Chaceley, Gloucester, was the sole director of the company that operated a waste treatment facility on the QinetiQ Industrial Estate in Long Lane, Pershore. In a case brought by the Environment Agency, Worcester Crown Court heard that between March 2013 and December 2015 he ran the site without the necessary environmental permit.
He was sentenced to 12 months’ custody suspended for 18 months and also ordered to complete 160 hours’ unpaid work in the community.
The cost of making the site, which is around the size of 3 football pitches, compliant would have been about £450,000. But in not doing so, Connally avoided those costs, plus more than £17,000 in fees to the Environment Agency. After the company was dissolved and the site abandoned, the cost of clearing it was in excess of £100,000.
Connally registered waste exemptions, which allowed up to 500 tonnes of waste to be stored at the site at any one time. During one of several site visits, environment officers estimated that nearly 9,000 tonnes of waste was illegally stored on site. Receipts showed that between April 2013 and August 2015, the company had invoiced a total of over £338,000 for the waste it had received and sold.
An inspection by the Environment Agency also found that the site posed a fire risk and that without proper drainage, water used to tackle any fire would have entered the Piddle Brook through highway drains. Plastics residue and pesticides from a cleaning operation also had the potential to cause pollution.