Man jailed for 10 months for running illegal waste site in Essex



Mark James, 61, has been jailed for 10 months and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £187 after pleading guilty to depositing, storing and treating waste illegally at a site in Essex.

James ran an illegal waste site at an industrial estate at Chadwell St Mary near Tilbury between 9 December 2022 and 29 June 2023.

The Environment Agency says its officers visited the site “numerous times” and found piles of waste comprised of brick rubble, soils, plastic, wood and metal. They provided advice on guidance to James, however, officers later issued a statutory notice ordering him to clear up the site.

James failed to clear the site and provide waste transfer notes in line with the requirements set out in the statutory notice. Following this he was charged with carrying out a waste operation at the site.

Prosecuting for the Environment Agency, Solicitor Advocate Sarah Dunne told the court that James’ activities had allowed him to avoid the fees for lawful disposal. The Environment Agency said James had undermined lawful competitors and caused significant interference with the industrial estate users and business owners.

Describing James as “defiant”, Judge Andrew Hurst said James had “set your face against all efforts that the Environment Agency had expended on getting you to comply” and said he had shown “blatant contempt”.

He added: “What else could the Environment Agency do apart from rolling up their sleeves, getting some spades and shovels and doing it for you.”

Hoads Wood “illegal” waste site closed down by Environment Agency

The Environment Agency has blocked access to a large and apparent illegal waste site in Hoads Wood at Ashford, Kent, to prevent further alleged illegal tipping

The Hoads Wood site.

A court order is now in place prohibiting anyone from entering or depositing waste on the site. The Environment Agency has now locked the site’s access gate, placed concrete blocks to prevent access and displayed a warning notice at the entrance.

Anyone entering the land without “reasonable excuse” or written permission from the Environment Agency will be committing a criminal offence, as will anyone who tampers with the lock or notice.

Sergeant Darren Walshaw, of Kent Police’s rural task force, commented: “The size of this site and the amount of waste allegedly illegally dumped there is shocking and totally irresponsible.

“Fly-tipping is often linked to other forms of criminality and we are therefore assisting the Environment Agency and other partner agencies with their investigation and associated enforcement action.”

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