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Waste criminal disqualified from being a company

25 September 2023

A MAN has been banned from being a company director for three years after his company dumped asbestos contaminated waste on land in Northumberland.

He’s also been ordered to pay compensation of more than £7,000 to the landowner, who was left to clear up the mess.

Grant Brown, 35, of Brampton Gardens, Throckley, Newcastle, appeared at Newcastle Magistrates’ Court for sentencing on Thursday 14 September after previously pleading guilty to allowing his company to cause waste to be dumped 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, which is the amount not covered by their insurance for the clearance. Brown will also pay costs of £3,101 and a victim surcharge of £113, and is disqualified from being a company for three years.

Gary Wallace, area environment manager for the Environment Agency in the North East 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’s company and after an Environment Agency investigation he’s been put before the courts for his offending.

"If you are approached to store waste for someone else or discover waste has been dumped on your land or property then report it to the Environment Agency’s incident hotline on 0800 807060 so we can investigate."

Waste dumped on farmland

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, at the end of the same month, a post on the company’s Facebook page showed before and after images of a pile of waste cleared from a residential garden, evidence that 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 amongst the construction and domestic waste which the Environment Agency traced back to Brown’s company.

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.

Additionally, during the investigation, the Environment Agency asked for all waste transfer notes for the company produced during 2021. Every person who produces, carries, keeps or disposes of waste is subject to duty of care legislation to ensure the waste is managed appropriately, which includes ensuring the transfer of waste is recorded. Only those created by other companies were produced.