£2.5 million clean up bill after man stores thousands of tonnes of illegal waste in Deeside

More than 8,600 tons of waste has been left at one site with a capacity for 500 tons. Credit: National Resources Wales

A businessman is accused of leaving a £2.5 million clear-up bill after his illegal waste operation went bust in North Wales.

Gordon Pearson Anderson, from Shropshire, had allegedly stored 17,000 tonnes of waste at Deeside industrial park, exceeding the limit of 12,000 tonnes.

He had also taken out a lease at the old Anglesey Aluminium site where 500 tonnes of waste could be stored, but an estimated 8,686 tonnes had been left.

Paperback Collection and Recycling, in liquidation, was fined £1 on each charge after the firm admitted seven environmental permit contraventions.

The 66-year-old pleaded guilty to three breaches of environmental permit controls.

Mass waste had been left at sites in Deeside and Anglesey. Credit: National Resources Wales

Judge Nicola Jones at Caernarfon crown court said there was an "element of arrogance and sheer disregard for the environmental permit" for financial gain.

Judge Jones added, "A fire at that site would have had the potential to be extremely dangerous."

Defence barrister Samantha Riggs said, "He tried to do things properly. This isn’t someone deliberately setting out to avoid properly managing waste.” She described him as a “broken man”.

National Resources Wales hopes the incident demonstrates it "will not tolerate those who seek to profit by breaking the law, risking harm to local communities or damaging the environment."

Sian Williams from NRW added, "In this instance, the operator illegally stored 8,686 tons of plastic waste and breached several environmental permit conditions, demonstrating a sustained disregard for the environment and our natural resources. 

"This case demonstrates clearly that anyone trying to take shortcuts in the waste industry will be pursued through the courts where necessary."

Anderson received a 15 months suspended sentence and must complete 250 hours of unpaid work.

He has been disqualified from being a company director for 15 years.