Businessman jailed for illegal waste site spreading pollution - The Evesham Observer

Businessman jailed for illegal waste site spreading pollution

Evesham Editorial 21st May, 2018   0

A THROCKMORTON businessman jas been jailed for more than two years after he pleaded guilty to running a waste disposal operation without a permit.

John Bruce, 45, appeared at Worcester Crown Court last Friday (May 11) to be sentenced to 26 months in jail for six offences at Throckmorton Airfield.

The charges were brought by the Environment Agency against Mr Bruce who ran the operation from a site at Ridgeway Park Farm for three and a half years, between 2011 and 2014. He brought waste onto the site and either dumped it, buried it or burned it.

The court heard Bruce purchased the site in July 2011 and ran a ‘large scale’ illegal waste disposal operation at the farm.




Bruce who trades as UK Plant Services, operated under a fradulent waste carriers registration number, the court heard.

Heavy goods vehicles and articulated tippers removed waste from construction sites and permitted waste sites around the West Midlands. This was then deposited at the farm and disposed of on an industrial scale by burning and burial


Responding to complaints from local residents, Environment Agency officers met with Bruce and warnings were issued.

Throughout March and April 2013, Bruce treated and disposed of waste by burning large quantities of it at Ridgeway Park Farm.

For several weeks fires were continually burning at the site causing misery for local residents, endangering health and polluting the air in the area.

There was a major impact on the quality of life for local residents, as Bruce burnt a large amount of plastic waste, causing plumes of putrid black smoke across the nearby village.

Despite fire crews having to attend to a fire in April 2013, Bruce repeatedly ignored the interventions of the Environment Agency and the Fire Service.

The waste on site consisted mainly of construction and demolition waste, some of which included aluminium waste products, which is classified as a hazardous waste.

In total, approximately 26,000 cubic metres of waste was brought onto the site by Mr Bruce during the offending period.

Bruce kept his herd of cattle on site grazing amongst the waste and in conditions where waste from the site was not contained.

Cattle bedding also contained mixed waste, electric cables, drink cans and plumbing parts. Bruce was advised to stop using the waste but continued to ignore the advice given by officers.

While given credit for his guilty plea, Bruce was criticised for ‘serious environmental offences and the Environment Agency slammed the businessman after the sentence was revealed.

An Environment Agency spokesman said: “John Bruce operated a sustained large scale illegal waste site at his farm.

“He imported, burned, buried and spread unsuitable polluting waste, causing pollution to the land and air, harm to the cattle and significant harm and disruption to local residents and businesses.”

“Bruce has shown a blatant disregard for the environment and local community, subjecting local residents to months of misery by bringing on large quantities of waste and burning it on the site.”

Residents can report waste crime to the Environment Agency on 0800 80 70 60 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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