The boss of a Worcestershire waste company has been told to pay thousands of pounds for dodgy rubbish disposal.

At Worcester Crown Court on Thursday, September 28, Gary Shorthouse and G R Shorthouse Ltd admitted to unlawfully storing, treating and disposing of waste without an environmental permit between September 2018 and November 2019.

Shorthouse, aged 58, of Hopton Wafers, Kidderminster, was fined £68,000 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £33,395.74.

He was also disqualified from acting as a company director for five years whilst G R Shorthouse Ltd was fined £8,500.

The company ran a skip hire business bringing waste to the site from domestic and commercial customers for financial gain.

The waste was then sorted with metal being sold for scrap, some was burned, and the rest was sent for legitimate disposal elsewhere.

The court was told that the illegal activity was carried out by the company, but Shorthouse consented to the activity at Park Farm, Doddington.

Waste technical specialist for the Environment Agency in the West Midlands, Lyndon Essex, said: “We hope this case will send a clear message that we do not hesitate to take action to protect the environment and bring perpetrators to justice.

 “This person operated the site without the required permit which, as well as undermining the regulatory regime, also had an impact on lawful waste operators.  

“We are actively targeting illegal waste activities across the country and would urge all those seeking to become involved in the waste industry to ensure they have the appropriate permits and authorisations in place.”

It was revealed to the court that in June 2019, Environment Agency officers found evidence that the site was being used for the storage of scrap metal, burning wood waste and unauthorised use of construction and demolition waste.

The activity was unlawful because neither the company nor Shorthouse held an environmental permit.

In July 2019, Gary Shorthouse was advised in writing to cease the activity with a formal interview under caution taking place in September 2019 where he admitted the company was using the site as a base for the skip hire business.

He also admitted that the company was storing, treating and burning waste. 

Shorthouse had been convicted of a similar offence in 2003 and received a formal written warning from the Environment Agency in 2008 whilst G R Shorthouse Ltd had been convicted of waste-related offences in 2012.

In mitigation, the court heard Shorthouse had pleaded guilty to offences prior to trial and was suffering significant health issues, but the sentencing judge said the offending was an intentional breach of the law and aggravated by previous convictions and financial motivation.

Businesses and residents are being advised to carry out checks to ensure they are using legitimate companies to do with their waste.

Anyone who suspects a company is operating illegally should contact the Environment Agency or report anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.