Waste operators to pay back illegal earnings

Environment Agency


Two waste operators have been ordered to pay back hundreds of thousands of pounds of money they illegally earned following a proceeds of crime case brought by the Environment Agency.

Andrew Green, from Barnsley, and Dean Ryder, from Doncaster, who ran Grantscope, based in Goodwin’s Yard, Barnsley, received community orders with unpaid work requirements of 200 hours after they were convicted for three separate waste offences at Barnsley Magistrates’ Court in December 2014, upheld after an appeal at Sheffield Crown Court in March 2016.

The offences included: depositing waste outside a permitted area in December 2011; operating a regulated facility without a permit between 20 November 2012 and May 2013; failing to comply with an enforcement notice issued in February 2012 after the illegal deposit of waste outside of the pair’s Goodwin’s Yard site in Barnsley.

Following the failure to comply with the enforcement notice, Grantscope’s environmental permit was revoked, effectively ending its ability to operate at the site. The company went into liquidation in September 2012.

Despite this, the defendants, who jointly owned Goodwin’s Yard, continued waste operations in contravention of the law, including processing waste into trommel fines that were then bagged up to be sold as topsoil. The court also heard that the defendants accumulated a waste pile of nearly 13,000 tonnes before abandoning the waste.

Green and Ryder were back at Sheffield Crown Court earlier this month, in a case brought by the Environment Agency under the Proceeds of Crime Act, following a financial investigation into the lawful costs they avoided from their crimes. The pair’s criminal benefit from operating a regulated facility without a permit was found to be £276,000 in equal share.

Ryder has sufficient assets so must repay £138,002 within three months or face a default prison sentence. Green has assets less than that figure, but must repay £121,422 within three months or face a default prison sentence.

Caron Osborne, from the Environment Agency, said: “Between them, Green and Ryder have been ordered to pay more than £250,000, which is a significant confiscation order that sends out a clear message to others who flout the law that waste crime does not pay. Not only do we use environmental law to prosecute those who abuse the environment, but we also use the Proceeds of Crime legislation to ensure that criminals are deprived of the benefits of their illegal activity.

"Waste crime undermines legitimate businesses and can have significant detrimental effects on communities and the environment. In this case, the two men abandoned approximately 13,000 tonnes of waste material.

“This hearing demonstrates how seriously we take waste crime and we’ll continue to take action against those operating outside of the law and the regulations.”