Monmouth man found guilty of illegal waste offences

A man in Monmouthshire, has been sentenced to a 12-month community order with 200 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay Natural Resources Wales (NRW) full costs of £13,915.09, after being found guilty of three waste related charges at Newport Magistrates Court earlier today (Tuesday 27 June)

Mr Philip Johns was found guilty of operating a waste facility at Glannau farm, Monmouthshire without the relevant environmental permit, and disposing of controlled waste, in a manner likely to cause pollution to the environment or harm to human health.

He was also found guilty of failing to comply with a Section 59 notice issued by NRW under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, to remove controlled waste from the site, although he received no separate penalty for this.

NRW officers visited the farm in January 2022 after receiving reports regarding waste activities.

Multiple deposits of waste were found, including a number of vehicles that were in the process of being dismantled,  with radiators and wheels removed and pots of decanted oils propping vehicles up, along with green waste and carpets.

A number of skips were also observed entering and leaving the site, many of which were covered with tarpaulin, indicating that waste was being transported to and from the farm.   

During subsequent visits and a final compliance visit carried out on 16 March 2022, NRW officers observed further offending of the same nature. NRW officers also found that access had been deliberately blocked by a vehicle.

Mr Johns claimed that he had the appropriate environmental permit to treat, store and deposit waste at Glannau farm and that he did not receive the Section 59 notice to remove the waste and remedy the site.

He also stated that the skips contained animal feed and the vehicles being stripped were for recycling.

It was noted by the District Judge in the Magistrates Court however, that Mr Johns had been unable to provide a credible explanation as to the quality and quantity of waste at Glannau farm, and why Mr Johns’ name and number was on the increasing amount of skips seen entering and leaving the site between January and March.

At a hearing on Tuesday 28 March, Mr Johns was given time to comply with the Judge’s directions and remove prescribed waste from the land.

At the sentencing earlier today (27 June ) Mr Johns was sentenced to 12-month community order with 200 hours unpaid work and ordered to pay NRW full costs of £13,915.09.

Su Fernandez Senior Enforcement Officer for Natural Resources Wales said:

Waste crime not only impacts the environment but also people’s health and their local communities, as well as undermining legitimate businesses operating within the waste industry.
I hope this result sends out a message to all those involved in the illegal storing and depositing of waste, that we take this activity extremely seriously and we will always take the appropriate steps to protect our environment and the communities which we serve.

Mr Johns had previously been prosecuted by NRW for waste offences in November 2021,receiving fines totalling £13,542 and had his waste carrier licence revoked.

Anybody who suspects illegal waste activity in their area should report it via NRW’s incident hotline on 0300 065 3000.