A Neath man pays a high price for collecting waste illegally
OPERATING a metal waste collection business without a waste carriers licence has come at a high cost for a Neath man.
Michael Rhys Mochan, of Giants Wharfe caravan park, Briton Ferry, Neath must pay a total of £3,420 in court fines and costs after pleading guilty to transporting controlled waste without registering as a waste carrier with NRW.
He pleaded guilty to the offence at Swansea Magistrates’ Courts on 27 November 2023 and he was fined £1,000. He must also pay a victim surcharge of £400 and NRW’s full investigation costs of £2,025.
The case was brought to court following a stop check on the individual by Natural Resources Wales and Dyfed-Powys Police.
Mark Thomas, Enforcement Officer, NRW said:
“Mochan was given many opportunities to register for a waste carrier licence when initially stopped and in follow-ups after that incident. He ignored all advice and warnings to become compliant, leaving us with no other option than to take legal action.
“Anyone who carries waste on a public road must have a waste carriers licence. It is not expensive to hold such a licence and it’s an easy application process. There is no excuse for not applying and this court outcome is a clear sign that we will act against anyone who continually flouts the law.
“These regulations are in place under the Control of Pollution Act 1989 to stop the illegal deposits of waste, fly tipping, to protect the environment and create a level playing field for the businesses operator legally operating in the waste industry.”
On the 13th of April 2023, a Dyfed-Powys Police officer, seconded to NRW, and an NRW Enforcement Officer carried out a roadside waste carriers licence check on two men who were calling house to house in Carmarthenshire collecting waste scrap metal as part of the business they said they were operating.
Mochan was named as the operator of the business and was unable to produce a waste carriers licence, which would have proven he was operating his business legally.
During the stop, he agreed to register with NRW as a waste carrier and as a scrap metal dealer with the relevant local authority to ensure he was operating legally.
NRW reported him for the offence of carrying and collecting controlled waste whilst unauthorised to do so. Police also dealt with him for defects to his vehicle and having no vehicle insurance.
He was contacted again by the NRW enforcement officer after the incident and supplied with relevant information and documentation to assist him with his application.
The cost of the NRW waste carriers licence would have been £154 for three years. The cost of a scrap dealers licence with the relevant council would have cost Mochan £260 for three years.
Instead, Mochan ignored the advice given and failed to become a legally registered waste carrier. This failure to comply led NRW to take legal action.
PC Roger Jones, Dyfed-Powys Police seconded to NRW, said:
“I’m pleased that our action in stopping this individual on the roadside of one of our rural communities has led to successful action through the courts and prevented Mochan from continuing to operate an illegal business.
“Joint working between NRW and police is helping combat environmental crimes and people should take heed that we are proactively patrolling and working to ensure waste businesses are operating as they should be, to protect the environment and our rural communities.”
Information on how to register as a waste carrier is available on the NRW website: Natural Resources Wales / Deciding if you are a waste carrier, broker or dealer
To find out if any contractor is a registered waste carrier, members of the public can check the NRW Public Registry Database. Natural Resources Wales / Waste carriers, brokers and dealers public register