Director fined and disqualified for dumping waste with asbestos

Waste and debris.
Waste dumped on farmland in Stocksfield (Image: Environment Agency)

A man has been banned from being a company director after he dumped 20 tonnes of construction waste contaminated with asbestos on farmland in Northumberland.

Grant Brown, 35, of Brampton Gardens, Throckley, Newcastle, appeared at Newcastle Magistrates’ Court for sentencing on Thursday 14 September. He previously pleaded guilty to dumping waste on farmland in Stocksfield, failing to comply with duty of care legislation, and failing to produce waste transfer notes.

He was fined £1,125 and ordered to pay compensation to the landowner of £7,071.20 – the amount not covered by their insurance for the clearance. Brown will also pay costs of £3,101 and a victim surcharge of £113. He is disqualified from being a company director for three years.

Illegal waste site

Brown, trading as GB Waste Management and operating out of Bells Close Industrial Estate in Lemington, claimed to collect and dispose of waste.

The court heard that on 1 September 2021, an Environment Agency officer attended the Bells Close site to investigate a report of an illegal waste site. It was confirmed Brown’s company did not have an environmental permit, which is required to minimise the impact on the environment. The site had several skips full of waste, including bricks, tiles, plasterboard, wood and soil.

During a follow-up visit with Newcastle City Council in November, Brown told officers the company had been dissolved and all skips and trucks had been sold. He said the site would be cleared.

However, a post on the company’s Facebook page showed the company was still active.

Overnight on 25 November 2021, 20 tonnes of waste was dumped on farmland at Stocksfield. Personal identifiable items were found among the construction and domestic waste, which the Environment Agency traced back to Brown’s company.

Targeting waste criminals

During clearance of the waste – which cost the landowner more than £32,000 – asbestos was found on site, which was traced back to the clearance of a Newcastle City Centre property.

The Environment Agency also asked during its investigation for all waste transfer notes for the company produced during 2021. Only those created by other companies were produced.

Area environment manager for the Environment Agency in the North East, Gary Wallace, said: “Waste criminals target property and land to dump waste they’ve illegally collected and disappear, leaving a huge clean-up bill for landowners, and dumped waste causes contamination and is a major fire risk.

“In this case we were able to trace the waste back to Brown and after an Environment Agency investigation he’s been put before the courts for his offending.”

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