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A haulage company and its director have been fined £9,923 for moving waste in and out of an illegal waste site in Fineshade, Northamptonshire.

Peterborough firm BRC Haulage and its director Robert Canavan pleaded guilty to a number of charges at Northampton Magistrates Court last week.

These included three charges of illegally depositing waste, and five charges of breaching their waste duty of care by failing to prepare waste transfer notes to document the nature of the waste leaving the site.

The illegal waste site they used at Monkton Sidings in Fineshade, near Corby, had no environmental permit and was operated by Stephen Lack, referred to as a “serial waste offender” by the Environment Agency. Lack was jailed for 18 months in January 2021.

The lack of an environmental permit meant that waste was stored on the bare ground, placing local land and water resources at risk, the court heard.

Environment Agency lawyer Sarah Dunne told the court that waste transfer notes are necessary to ensure that waste is handled safely and correctly. She said BRC Haulage had many years of experience and knew that such documentation was required but didn’t take steps to record waste movements in and out of the Monkton Sidings site.

Dunne explained to the court how the haulage firm had prevented the Environment Agency from effectively regulating the site and, by depositing waste at an unpermitted site, had saved hundreds of pounds in costs and fees.

Barrister Mauro Maselli, defending BRC Haulage and Robert Canavan, said that the defendants apologised for breaking the law. He added that they had co-operated with the Environment Agency and had admitted the offences at an early stage.

Sentencing the defendants, the magistrates observed that this had been reckless offending. Fining the company £5,000, the magistrates said BRC Haulage had been in business long enough to understand that it was working in a highly regulated industry and that Stephen Lack was not a lawful operator. The company was ordered to pay the Environment Agency’s costs of £4,128.

Robert Canavan, of Park Road, Peterborough in his capacity as a director, was fined £768 and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £77.

Yvonne Daly, manager at the environment agency, said: “Illegal waste sites like Monkton Sidings are a blight on our environment, countryside and to communities and legitimate business.”

The Environment Agency is part of the Joint Unit for Waste Crime, launched in january this year in a bid to stop serious and organised crime in the UK waste industry. The new unit which brings together law enforcement agencies, environmental regulators, HMRC and the National Crime Agency in the war against waste crime, conducts site inspections, makes arrests and prosecutions and pushes for heavy fines and custodial sentences.