Waste offences cost firm £22,000

A Norfolk skip company has been ordered to pay more than £22,000 after operating an illegal waste site for over a year.

Benjamin Lemmon, director at Skippy Industries, which holds a restricted licence for four HGVs, told Norwich Magistrate’s Court it had become “a victim of its own success” after pleading guilty to the charge.

The company stockpiled old refrigerators, soiled mattresses, rubble and other mixed waste outside at its operating centre in Setchey, Kings Lynn, where it risked contaminating the nearby river Nar.

In interview, Lemmon admitted he knew he should have sought an amended permit to allow him to lawfully extend the site, but the director said he couldn’t afford it.

He claimed the company had “got too busy for the size of the building”, but the court also heard how Lemmon’s “reckless” actions had undercut other legitimate businesses.

Barrister Mike McGee, defending, told the court that Lemmon had little experience of the waste industry and had done his best to clear the non-compliant waste.

The director was fined £14,000 and ordered to pay £8,170 in costs and surcharges.

Scott Cunnington, senior environment officer at the Environment Agency, said: “We hope securing this criminal conviction of a waste operator serves as a wake-up call to other businesses and a reminder that they must stay within the conditions and boundaries outlined by their permits.”

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