A SKIP firm owner who ran an illegal waste transfer station at a site near Cricklade has been ordered to pay £10,137 by Swindon Magistrates' Court.

Darren James Saveall, 42, of Sams Lane, Blunsdon, Wiltshire, was fined £6,000, ordered to pay £4,122 costs and a £15 victim surcharge, a total of £10,137. The illegal waste transfer station served as a dumping site for Mr Saveall's business, which trades under the name of Beefy Skips.

Swindon Magistrates' Court heard on Monday that in April 2010 Environment Agency officers visited a site known as Edenfield, on Kingsdown Lane, Blunsdonfollowing reports of waste being tipped.

On arrival officers noticed piles of stone and soil and some evidence of a skip operation, but were unable to carry out a full search.

On 12 May 2010 environment officers had a meeting with Mr Saveall at the Kingsdown Lane site. During the visit the officers found a small amount of waste on the site, including skips of mixed waste and soil, several empty skips and two skip lorries. The officers advised Mr Saveall that he was required to have an environmental permit to keep and bulk up skip waste at the site. A letter was also sent containing information about acquiring a permit. Mr Saveall was also warned that if he continued to store waste and run an illegal waste transfer station enforcement action would be taken.

On 14 September 2010 environment officers visited the site to check that all waste activities had stopped. Mr Saveall was not at the site, but more waste had been brought to the site, and a further visit in November again confirmed that Mr Saveall was continuing to run the waste transfer station without a permit. During an interview Mr Saveall admitted that much of the waste was household or commercial waste that had been brought on the site as part of his skip business He explained that he tipped on the site when he was unable to tip at a permitted site, due to working late and that the permitted sites were closed. He claimed that during busy periods when working late waste would be brought back to the site and bulked up, so that the skips were available to use again.

However, during all Environment Agency site visits many empty skips had been seen on site and were available to send out without tipping the full skips there. He had also been previously advised to make sure that he knew when the permitted waste sites were open.

Colin Chiverton, Area Environment Manager, said: „We will always look to provide advice to help a business understand and comply with the permitting regulations but Mr Saveall chose to ignore our advice and left us in no other position but to take a prosecution against him.

"An environmental permit is necessary as it ensures waste management activities are conducted without risk to the environment or public health. By avoiding the costs of a permit, illegal waste operators can also undercut the costs of their legitimate competitors. They do not allow for a level playing field.

"We hope this prosecution sends a strong message to operators that we will not accept illegal waste activity."