Three men dumped vast piles of rubbish illegally
More than 2,000 tonnes of waste including 30ft-high heaps of wood and stacks of mattresses were left abandoned at an industrial estate.
Michael Hendy, Nathan Thomas and Victor Keseru each admitted their role in illegally dumping huge quantities of waste at the site in Cowbridge and were sentenced at Cardiff Crown Court.
Opening the case, prosecutor Tim Evans said: “This case arises out of the illegal deposit of vast amounts of waste.”
The court heard the offending occurred at Llandow Trading Estate, in Cowbridge, between November 2014 and June 2015.
Around 1,500 tonnes of wood and woodchip were found there, along with more than 330 tonnes of mattresses compacted into bales.
Prosecutors said the wood was stacked 30ft high in places and judged by South Wales Fire and Rescue Service as a “serious fire risk”.
The court heard the mattresses were left outside and also filled a warehouse from floor to ceiling.
Mr Evans said the waste was left unprocessed and effectively abandoned on the site, operated by Hendy, who did not have the necessary permits or full permission from the landowner.
An environment officer from Natural Resources Wales, which regulates waste operators, visited the site in 2014 and told Hendy his actions were illegal. But he ignored the guidance and started dumping waste in two more adjacent yards.
Prosecutors said he charged £40 per tonne to dump chemically treated wood that had been used in construction, without any thought about what was going to happen to it.
The court heard he received £60,000 for the 1,500 tonnes of waste wood, which would have cost £170,000 to dispose of legally.
Thomas and Keseru worked in partnership at Bridgend-based Envik Recycling Services, collecting old mattresses, selling the metal springs for scrap. David Sedgwick, representing Keseru, said: “The two of them ended up with more mattresses than they could deal with.”
The court heard they paid Hendy £5,000 in cash to take the mattresses.
Natural Resources Wales issued all three defendants with enforcement notices asking them to remove the waste, but they did not comply.
Prosecutors said the waste, which poses an environmental risk, is still at the site two and a half years later.
Hendy, 49, from Gwilyn Place in Barry, admitted disposing of controlled waste in a manner likely to cause pollution of the environment or harm to human health.
He also admitted operating a regulated facility for the disposal of waste without an environmental permit.
Mr Evans said: “The prosecution case is he took the money and ran.”
Nick Gedge, defending Hendy, said he started with the right intentions but “went awry”. The court heard Hendy is unemployed, so no order was made for compensation or costs. Judge Michael Fitton QC jailed him for 10 months.
Thomas, 47, from Merthyr Mawr Road in Bridgend, admitted disposing of mattresses without an environmental permit.
Nigel Fryer, defending, said: “He apologises profusely.”
Keseru, 48, from Shakespeare Road in Barry, admitted the same offence as Thomas.
Both were given a six-month jail term, suspended for two years, ordered to carry out 225 hours of unpaid work, and given a six-month curfew. They must each pay £26,040 in compensation, plus £6,500 in costs and an £80 victim surcharge.
> The huge quantities of dumped waste at Llandow Trading Estate, Cowbridge