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Waste haulier is jailed

16th February 1995
Page 16
Page 16, 16th February 1995 — Waste haulier is jailed
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by Jane Sayer • A waste haulier has been jailed for six months at York Crown Court for operating an illegal rubbish dump.

Brian Morrell, who admitted breaching planning regulations five times and ignoring three orders brought under pollution laws, is believed to be the first person in Britain to go to prison for illegally dumping rubbish.

Morrell, whose Elm-ayear turnover company, Al Waste (Harrogate), based at Lingerfield, near Knaresborough, North Yorks, went out of business just over a year ago, is going to appeal.

The court heard that after in-filling the Bleach Grounds Quarry with up to 120,000 tonnes of waste a year, for which he had permission, Morrell continued to operate an industrial waste transfer station without planning authority.

David Travers, prosecuting for North Yorks County Council, said that between 1990 and 1992 Morrell brought hundreds of skip loads of industrial rubbish to the tip using 16 lorries. Here it was sorted into piles of valuable metals, glass, wood and sold by the container load.

Travers said Morrell had been ordered to cover and grass the land once the quarry was full, but this had not been done. He was caught running his sorting business by an environmental enforcement officer.

Permission to carry out the rubbish sorting was originally refused by the council because of the impact of lorries using narrow rural lanes. Gerald Lumley, for Morrell, said: "He once employed 26 people and was the largest collector of industrial waste in the area.

"He tried many times to get permission to operate a waste transfer station at this site and others, but was baulked by politicians each time. He felt he was not helped and is very bitter."

After hearing that Morrell was almost penniless, Judge Crabtree said it would be unfair to add the £18,000 court costs.

Chris Murphy, technical secretary at the National Association of Waste Disposal Contractors, says: "1 don't think this will open the floodgates to other prosecutions. Quite frankly to flout the law to that extent, you deserve what you get".

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