Five companies and three men - including one from Calderdale - have been fined a combined total of over £10,000 for depositing controlled waste in a disused quarry where no environmental permit was in place.
Michael Edward Jagger of uddenden Foot was one of eight defendants sentenced by Beverley Magistrates’ Court for environmental crimes after they were discovered to have been illegally tipping waste at Middleton Quarry, a former sandstone quarry in Pollington near Goole, during 2008 and 2009.
The site itself was owned by Slingsby Quarries Ltd, which marketed the site through its director Philip Slingsby as a legitimate landfill site, and waste management firms were charged for tipping there.
But Slingsby, 42, of Hadds Lane, Thorne, Doncaster, had no legal permission to use the quarry as a landfill and last month he was jailed by Hull Crown Court for four waste crime offences.
Although Slingsby had told other waste companies that his site was legal, the other operators had a legal duty of care to check the relevant paperwork for proof. But the defendants in court this week had all failed to do so, taking Slingsby’s word on its merit alone.
Craig Burman, prosecuting for the Environment Agency, told the court that investigations into Slingsby uncovered paperwork that identified waste operators who had used the site. Some of these were also found to have failed to complete mandatory paperwork in relation to the waste they were transferring.
Sweeting of Leeds Ltd, of Thorpe Lane, Wakefield, was found to have dumped 1,495 loads of waste, equating to 29,900 tonnes. Sweeting admitted two charges and was fined £3,000 and ordered to pay £2,267.02 in legal costs.
Moorhead Excavations Ltd, of Lower Wortley Road, Leeds, dumped 304 loads, equating to 6,080 tonnes of waste. Moorhead admitted one charge and was fined £2,500 with £1,617.94 costs.
Samco Yorks Ltd, of Nab Lane, Batley, deposited 1,580 tonnes of waste in 79 loads. It also carried 91 loads of waste, equating to 1,820 tonnes, on behalf of Sweeting. Samco admitted two charges and was fined £1,000 plus £1,424.73 costs.
Michael Edward Jagger, 63, of Station Road, Luddenden Foot, deposited 40 tonnes. He admitted two charges and was fined £600 with £1,509.97 costs.
Paul Ward, 49, of Fernlea, Rothwell, deposited 42 loads. He admitted two charges and was fined £150 plus £150 costs.
Jakto Transport Ltd, of Oaks Lane, Barnsley, deposited 800 tonnes of waste in 40 loads. Jakto admitted two charges and was fined £2,500 plus £1,232 costs.
Fastsource Ltd, of Pepper Road, Hunslet, Leeds, deposited 240 tonnes of waste. Fastsource admitted one charge and was fined £500 with £1,431.63 costs. Although Fastsource had tipped without seeing any legal documentation for the site, the firm did stop using the quarry after 10 days of having received no proof of its legality.
Steven John Bristow, 54, of Manor Farm, Knedlington, Goole, deposited 50 tonnes of waste. He admitted two charges and was fined £600 with £1,500 costs.
All defendants were also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £15.
A topological survey in April 2009 concluded that around 35,000 tonnes of material had been dumped in the quarry.
Jo Holt, Environmental Crime Team Leader at the Environment Agency, said: “This case should remind companies and individuals who deal in waste that they have a legal obligation to ensure that their waste is being handled and deposited in line with environmental laws. The quarry’s operator clearly played a part in deceiving each defendant, but the defendants were experienced operators and it was not acceptable for them to rely on the word of others without verifying the appropriate documentation.
“The waste that was dumped in Middleton Quarry placed local drinking water at significant risk of pollution, because of the site’s proximity to boreholes that are used for drinking water extraction. Part of the site is within a Source Protection Zone 1, and as such it would never be granted a permit for landfilling of this type.
“Environmental laws exist to protect the environment and local communities, and those who break the rules will be pursued.”
*** On May 14, Philip Slingsby was sentenced to three months custody by Hull Crown Court. He was disqualified from being a company director for a period of six years and was ordered to pay a Proceeds of Crime Act confiscation amount of £200,000 with an order to pay £20,000 in legal costs. Slingsby was also sentenced to a further nine months imprisonment, to be served consecutively, for other waste management offences.