Ayrshire waste management licence holder handed £215,000 Confiscation Order for unlawful waste activity
Date published: 11 January 2024
Scotland’s environmental regulator is reminding those operating within the waste sector of the potential implications of breaching their waste management licence conditions following the conclusion of a criminal case at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court yesterday (10th January 2024).
A Confiscation Order of £215,000 was imposed on an Ayrshire operator on 30th January 2023 under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA) after an investigation by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) into waste offences stretching over two and a half years at his site. POCA recovers the financial benefit made by those undertaking criminal activity, including environmental offences, such as the unauthorised deposit, treatment or disposal of waste.
William Boyd, who operates the skip hire and waste collection business ‘Boyd Brothers’ in Stevenston, pled guilty on 11th August 2021 to four charges relating to contravention of various conditions of his waste management licence on or between 19th October 2016 and 6th May 2019.
Mr Boyd also pled guilty to a fifth charge of knowingly permitting controlled waste to be deposited at his site without the authority of a waste management licence between 21st December 2016 and 13th January 2019.
The Sheriff admonished Mr Boyd at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court yesterday in recognition of the fact a £215,000 Confiscation Order had already been imposed and paid and the dates/age of the charges libelled.
The matter was investigated by SEPA and referred to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS).
Calum McGregor, Unit Manager of SEPA’s Environmental Crime Team, said:
“SEPA officers will always try to work with businesses to resolve issues first and we are clear that operators who work with us will find a helpful and supportive agency. However, those who deliberately do the wrong thing will get the uncompromising regulator their behaviour deserves.
“By contravening the conditions of his waste management licence, Mr Boyd was able to avoid expenses incurred by other businesses operating within the law. Also, by knowingly permitting the deposit of waste on site without the authority of a waste management licence he diverted waste away from legitimate waste businesses undermining the regulatory regime. This is unacceptable and we hope that the conviction and the sizeable POCA Confiscation Order sends a strong message to those operating within the waste sector that SEPA will take appropriate enforcement action against those who persist with such unlawful business practices - and there are significant consequences to doing so.”
As part of a site inspection in October 2016 SEPA officers found that a number of the conditions of Mr Boyd’s waste management licence were not being complied with, including the total quantity of waste being kept on site exceeding the maximum 200 tonne limit.
SEPA officers took steps to engage with Mr Boyd in an effort to secure compliance. However, these attempts were unsuccessful and as a result SEPA served a partial suspension notice on Mr Boyd in November 2016 meaning no new waste could be brought onto the site.
During further site inspections SEPA officers continued to find evidence of new waste having been brought onto site. Further contraventions of Mr Boyd’s waste management licence conditions were also identified, including waste not being stored on an impermeable surface (which risked contaminants entering the subsoil and causing pollution) and wastes were being stored at the site for longer than permitted. In April 2018 SEPA served a statutory notice on Mr Boyd requiring the non-compliances to be remedied within the specified timescales.
SEPA officers subsequently found that the conditions of the waste management licence continued to be contravened and that new waste continued to be brought onto site. In January 2019 SEPA officers identified that around 1,000 tonnes of waste remained on site – around 800 tonnes more than was permitted in terms of the waste management licence.
Due to an ongoing failure to take the steps required by SEPA to remedy the non-compliance on site, SEPA served a statutory notice of partial revocation on Mr Boyd in May 2019 removing authorisation under the waste management licence to keep and treat any waste on site with effect from 7 July 2019. Mr Boyd continued to keep and accept new waste onto site without the authority of a waste management licence and as a result, and following SEPA’s investigation they submitted a case to COPFS for consideration of prosecution.
Following the case, Mr Boyd has now cleared the majority of unauthorised wastes from the site. The site licence continues to be partially revoked, preventing any new wastes from being accepted at the site, and the Waste Carrier’s registration required for the business to transport waste has also expired.
SEPA will continue to monitor the site and, following the conviction, will now consider next steps that may need to be taken.
Notes to editor
Images of the waste on site are available to accompany this story. These can be downloaded from SEPA’s asset library. You do not need to sign in or register to access these. You will see one main image with the other two linked underneath.
The charges William Boyd pled guilty to were:
On or between 19th October 2016 and 6th May 2019 at 48-50 Moorpark Road East, Stevenston, Ayrshire, KA20 3HP you WILLIAM DAVIDSON BOYD, being the holder of waste management licence WML/W/0000229 issued by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and dated 23 April 1999, as amended, did contravene condition 1.3.3 of said licence, in that on 19 October 2016, 27 October 2016, 02, 09, 18 & 25 November, all 2016, 8 & 22 December, both 2016, 25 January, 17 February, 08 March, 05 May,13 June, 11 July, 11 August, 09 November, 27 November, all 2017, 11 January, 22 January, 06 February, 03 April, 31 May, 11 December, all 2018 and 14 January 2019 and 6 May 2019 the total quantity of waste kept on site exceeded 200 tonnes; CONTRARY to the Environmental Protection Act 1990, Section 33(6)
On 8th March 2017 at 48-50 Moorpark Road East, Stevenston, Ayrshire KA20 3HP you WILLIAM DAVIDSON BOYD, being the holder of waste management licence WML/W/0000229 issued by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and dated 23 April 1999, as amended, did contravene condition 2.9.1 of said licence, in that all working surfaces were not impermeable to water and were not laid to falls that direct surface run-off to a purpose designed drainage system; CONTRARY to the Environmental Protection Act 1990, Section 33(6)
Between 2nd November 2016 and 6th May 2019 at 48-50 Moorpark Road East, Stevenston, Ayrshire KA20 3HP you WILLIAM DAVIDSON BOYD, being the holder of waste management licence WML/W/0000229 issued by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and dated 23 April 1999, as amended, did contravene condition 1.10.1 of said licence, in that (a) un-segregated waste stored on the ground remained on site for a period exceeding 2 days (b) unsegregated waste in skips remained on site for a period exceeding 7 days (c) segregated scrap metal remained on site for a period exceeding 3 months and (d) other waste deemed acceptable in terms of Appendix 2 of the said waste management licence namely mixed construction waste, demolition waste and bulky waste remained on site for a period exceeding 7 days; CONTRARY to the Environmental Protection Act 1990, Section 33(6)
Between 1 January 2017 and 31 January 2018 at 48-50 Moorpark Road East, Stevenston, Ayrshire and Scottish Environment Protection Agency, Angus Smith Building, Parklands Avenue, Holytown you WILLIAM DAVIDSON BOYD, being the holder of waste management licence WML/W/0000229 issued by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and dated 23 April 1999, as amended, did contravene condition 6.2.1 of said licence, in that you did fail to compile the data required to complete the Licensed/Permitted Site Return Forms as detailed in Appendix 4 and did fail to complete said Licensed/Permitted Site Return Forms and did fail to return the forms to the Scottish Environment Protection Agency; CONTRARY to the Environmental Protection Act 1990, Section 33(6)
Between 21st December 2016 and 13th January 2019 in or on land at 48-50 Moorpark Road East, Stevenston KA20 3HP you WILLIAM DAVIDSON BOYD did knowingly permit to be deposited controlled waste, namely offcuts of wood, waste soil and stones and rubble, flooring, plastic bags, iron road covers, electrical transformers, a metal cabinet, a leather sofa, four empty 250 litre drums, a damaged fireplace, a white ceramic sink, toilet cisterns, glass kitchenware, tiles, packaging material, electrical cable, a roll of green mesh material, a window frame, toys, a grey plastic suitcase, wall panels, cardboard boxes, pipes, pieces of concrete, plasterboard, chipboard, cardboard, wooden pallets, white goods, mattresses, bricks, doors and plastic sheeting on or in said land without the authority of a waste management licence; CONTRARY to the Environmental Protection Act 1990, Section 33(1)(a)&(6) as amended