Unlicensed scrapyards prosecuted

A scrapyard operator was fined £10,000 with £3,700 costs by Beverley magistrates on 18 February for continuing to run his business after his exemption from waste management licensing was withdrawn.

Mark Leathley, who traded as A1079 Salvage, admitted depositing and keeping waste at an unlicensed site, contrary to section 33(1) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, between April 2002 and February 2003. He was fined £5,000 for each offence.

Mr Leathley ran his scrapyard from two business park units in Pocklington, Humberside, neither of which had a licence. An exemption had been obtained for one of the sites, but this was withdrawn in January 2002 after Environment Agency officers discovered that it was being run contrary to the terms of the exemption. There were too many vehicles on site, some stacked three or four high, on an area without an impermeable surface.

Although Mr Leathley was warned that if he continued to operate both units in this way he would be committing an offence, he continued to bring scrap cars onto the site and dismantle them.

In a similar case, a Cambridge scrapyard operator was fined £3,000 with £1,000 costs by Cambridge magistrates on 25 February after admitting four offences under section 33(1)(b) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. Stephen Taylor ran Griffin Breakers, a business that has now been dissolved, from an unlicensed site on an industrial estate in Chesterton, Cambridge.

Agency officers found a variety of waste posing fire and environmental hazards including a stack of 1,000 scrap tyres, gas cylinders, engines and a drum of waste engine oil. A pond on the site was contaminated.

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