Work to clear a site storing waste illegally on the outskirts of a North Wales town starts this week.
Natural Resources Wales’ (NRW) specialist contractors will spend four weeks clearing high-risk waste from the site of Porthmadog Skip Hire, on the Penamser Industrial Estate in Porthmadog.
The site was abandoned by the operators in September 2016 following a successful prosecution by NRW.
Company owners, Michael, Patricia and Joseph Gaffey were found guilty of storing more waste than allowed in their yard, which was a risk to the local environment.
They were each sentenced to 10 months in prison at Mold Crown Court in March 2017.
And last year, a hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act brought by NRW, saw the three partners ordered to pay around £350,000.
This, and a grant from the Welsh Government will contribute towards the cost of clearing the site, which are expected to be around £800,000.
The waste (see link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLThXQXu2Fg) will be removed by Acumen Waste Services and taken to Llanddulas landfill site in Conwy. NRW will oversee the work throughout the operation.
Sian Williams, NRW Head of Operations in North West Wales said: “Storing waste illegally can harm the environment, pose a risk to human health and undermines legitimate businesses that invest in the required measures.
“The Proceeds of Crime settlement means that the offenders themselves will foot part of the bill for clearing the site, re-couping some of the cost to the taxpayer.
“I hope this case sends out a strong message to the waste industry that we do not tolerate illegal operators that undercut responsible, permitted sites that comply with the law.
“We’ll make every effort to minimise disturbance to nearby businesses while this essential work is carried out.”
As the waste has been on the site for some time, vermin, especially rats, may be disturbed during the work. Any such issues should be reported to the Pest Control Service of Gwynedd Council on 01766 771000 (08:30 - 17:30, Monday - Friday).