Illegal waste site 'size of three football pitches'

A waste site operator has been given a suspended prison sentence after operating illegally for more than two-and-a-half years. In a case brought by the Environment Agency, Worcester Crown Court heard that Barry Connally, director of Rhino Recycling, ran a site in Pershore without the necessary environmental permit.

Making the site compliant would have cost about £450,000, plus more than £17,000 in fees to the agency. After the company was dissolved, the cost of clearing the abandoned site – which was approximately the size of three football pitches – was in excess of £100,000. An investigation estimated that nearly 9,000 tonnes of waste were being stored illegally. Receipts showed that between April 2013 and August 2015, the company had invoiced more than £338,000 for the waste it had received and sold. Experts said the site posed a fire risk and that without proper drainage, water used to tackle any fire would have entered the local watercourse through highway drains.

Connally was sentenced to 12 months’ custody, suspended for 18 months, and ordered to complete 160 hours of unpaid work in the community.

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