Preston flytippers' 30-ton rubbish mountain
Three men have been convicted of environmental offences after piles of waste were dumped and burned close to families’ homes in Clitheroe Street in Fishwick.
Prosecuting, Jorge Carrera said enforcement officers found a large amount of mixed waste of approximately 30 tonnes in weight being stored on the site unsafely.
The officers also confirmed complaints the waste was regularly burnt close to local homes.
The illegal operation was linked to a skip hire business called Proud Preston Skips operated by Tony Thorpe, Stuart Billington and Benjamin Thompson.
The trio were thwarted when Preston City Council and the Environment Agency intervened and the waste transfer site was closed down.
But the court heard they continued to operate elements of the business from other sites, including land around the Shawes Arms at London Road, and a subsequent probe found the business was linked to flytipping offences including the abandonment of skips loaded with waste. Waste was dumped on a private car park on Bold Street, Preston, in March 2016.
In April 2016, Preston City Council disrupted the illegal activity by seizing the skip lorry, together with several of the skips used by the business.
All three defendants declined to register a claim of owning the lorry and it was subsequently sold at auction.
They have now been sentenced in respect of their involvement.
Billington, 32, of West Park Avenue, Ashton-on-Ribble, Preston, was given 24 weeks in jail, suspended for two years, with 150 hours unpaid work, a £115 surcharge and £250 costs after admitting depositing controlled waste without a permit.
Thompson, 30, of Ashgrove, Preston, was given 18 weeks in jail, suspended for two years, with 100 hours unpaid work, a £115 surcharge and £250 costs after admitting admitting depositing controlled waste without a permit and failing to take measures to prevent a contravention of the Environmental Protection Act by the unauthorised or harmful depositing, treatment or disposal of waste.
Thorpe, 38, of Arkwright Street, Preston, must do 180 hours unpaid work and pay an £85 surcharge and £250 costs after admitting three counts of depositing controlled waste without a permit and failing to take measures to prevent a contravention of the Environmental Protection Act by the unauthorised or harmful depositing, treatment or disposal of waste.
All three must each pay £700 compensation to the owner of the Kaymar Site and £33 compensation to the council.
After the case, Councillor Robert Boswell, cabinet member for community and environment, said: “The magistrates in this case echoed the council’s views that these were serious offences committed with no regard for the environmental consequences.
“Flytipping has an impact on wildlife, the environment and the whole community, along with council tax payers in the cost of clearing it up.
“The amount that we spend on clearing fly tipping each year is up to £500,000.”