A man has been fined and banned from being a company director for three years after he dumped waste contaminated with asbestos on land in Northumberland.
Grant Brown, 35, appeared at Newcastle Magistrates’ Court for sentencing on 14 September after previously pleading guilty to dumping waste on farmland in Stocksfield, failing to comply with duty of care legislation, and failing to produce waste transfer notes.
Brown was disqualified from being a company for three years. He was also fined £1,125 for the offence and ordered to pay £7,071.20 in compensation to the landowner who had to clean up the waste, costs of £3,101, and a victim surcharge of £113.
Trading as GB Waste Management and operating out of Bells Close Industrial Estate in Lemington, Brown claimed to collect and dispose of waste legitimately.
The court heard that on 1 September 2021, an Environment Agency officer attended the Bells Close site to investigate a report of an illegal waste site. It was confirmed Brown’s company did not have an environmental permit and the officer observed several skips full of waste including bricks, tiles, plasterboard, wood and soil.
After an Environment Agency investigation he’s been put before the courts for his offending.
During a follow-up visit with Newcastle City Council in November, Brown told Environment Agency officers the company had been dissolved, all skips and trucks had been sold, and he would clear the site.
However, at the end of the same month, evidence emerged that Brown’s company was still active after a post on the company’s Facebook page showed before and after images of a pile of waste cleared from a residential garden.
Overnight on 25 November 2021, 20 tonnes of waste was dumped on farmland at Stocksfield. Personal identifiable items were found amongst the construction and domestic waste which the Environment Agency traced back to Brown’s company.
While clearing the waste, which cost the landowner more than £32,000, asbestos was found on site and traced back to the clearance of a Newcastle City Centre property.
Gary Wallace, Area Environment Manager for the Environment Agency in the North East, commented: “Waste criminals target property and land to dump waste they’ve illegally collected and disappear, leaving a huge clean-up bill for landowners, and dumped waste causes contamination and is a major fire risk.
“In this case, we were able to trace the waste back to Brown and after an Environment Agency investigation he’s been put before the courts for his offending.”