Waste cheat jailed

A man who used his farm as an illegal dumping ground has received a five-month prison sentence.

Nottingham Crown Court heard how Timothy Birchenough of Wibersley Farm, Doves Holes near Buxton ran a skip hire business from his property without a license and dumped or burned what could not be salvaged and resold.

None of the required environmental protection measures were in place at the unregistered dumping ground and witnesses told the investigation that two or three skips had been unloaded at the site every day for the past two years.

Environment Agency officers monitored activity at Wibbersley Farm for several days in June 2007 and witnessed the farm being operated as a waste disposal and transfer site.

Birchenough was repeatedly witnessed bringing various waste onsite including household clearance waste, hazardous waste such as car batteries and fridges, and industrial waste.

He was convicted of five charges relating to the illegal operation of a waste site.

The court heard how his activities not only threatened the environment but also gave him an unfair competitive advantage over legitimate waste operators who had to bear the financial and administrative costs of complying with the requirements of their licenses.

Birchenough had been prosecuted by the Environment Agency on previous occasions for similar offences.

Speaking after the case Rachel Turnbull, an Environment Agency officer involved in the investigation said: “This sentencing should send a clear message to those carrying out waste operations illegally that it is not acceptable to continually flout the law and put legitimate businesses and the environment at risk.

“Mr Birchenough did not change his ways following his previous convictions and posed a significant threat to surrounding areas.”

David Gibbs

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