A waste company and former director have been hit with £42,500 bill after nappies and human waste were dumped in Oswaldtwistle.
More than 13,000 tonnes of mixed waste was stored at the former chemical factory on Nook Lane which led to a ‘terrible’ fly infestation in the summer of 2012.
The waste had been baled at the Blakeley’s Waste Management site in Wigan and then moved to Oswaldtwistle between June and August despite no environmental permit being in place.
Burnley Crown Court heard how Arthur Morgan, who worked as a consultant, was paid £135,000 to dispose of the waste.
Morgan, 57, of Station Road, Thurston, Cheshire, pleaded guilty to two counts of knowingly causing or permitting the illegal tipping of waste without a valid environmental permit.
His sentence was adjourned until December 18 after the court ordered a further investigation into his finances.
Stephen Blakeley, 51, of Henfield Road, Higher Ince, Wigan, who was a company director at the time, pleaded guilty to depositing, causing the depositing or permitting the depositing of controlled waste without a licence. The former boss was fined £7,500 and told he will serve six months in prison if he defaults in payment.
Blakeleys Waste Management Ltd, which now operate as Blakeley’s Recycling Ltd, pleaded guilty to unauthorised deposits of controlled waste and was fined £15,000 and ordered to pay £15,000 costs in 30 days.
Barry Berlin, prosecuting on behalf of the Environment Agency, told the court how ‘all sorts of very unpleasant waste’ had been dumped at Nook Lane including nappies, human waste, food and carpets.
He said: “The fly infestation at Nook Lane was terrible and the smells the same.
“It went on for weeks and weeks and significantly affected the lives of neighbours.”
Mr Berlin said Morgan was also a UK agent for companies based in the Isle of Man which owned Nook Works, but that they ‘didn’t receive any money from the illegal activities and didn’t know there was any illegal activities being carried out’.
The fly infestation caused ‘serious public concern and distress’
The Environmental Agency (EA) said that ‘considerable credit’ had been given to Blakeley’s for removing the waste and saving the taxpayer a £300,000 bill.
They said the court had acknowledged that former company director Blakeley had ‘effectively lost everything’ and both Blakeley and the company had been given credit for the assistance they gave the prosecution in their case against Morgan.
The EA said the fly infestation caused ‘serious public concern and distress’ and also posed a fire hazard with one section of waste being set alight.
Steve Molyneux, environment manager, said: “The people of Oswaldtwistle suffered the impacts of these offenders, and we are pleased for the community that this serious offence has been successfully prosecuted.”
Oswaldtwistle Councillor Peter Britcliffe said the fines were ‘deserved’ and ‘residents will feel justice has been done’.
He said: “They caused an awful lot of misery that summer and people had to keep their windows and doors shut to stop flies getting in as it was horrendous. Somewhere along the line the future use of that land will have to be looked at so it doesn’t remain a problem.”