UK Scrap Yard Owner Prosecuted

Environment Agency slaps owner of Bristol, U.K., scrap yard with fine, suspended sentence.

April 2, 2012
Recycling Today Staff
Ferrous Legislation & Regulations Nonferrous

The United Kingdom’s Environment Agency has given a Bristol, U.K., man who was allegedly running an illegal scrap yard a suspended prison sentence and ordered him to pay £13,000, or nearly $21,000, in fines.

Christopher Farthing continued to operate his illegal vehicle dismantling business despite repeated warnings from the Environment Agency (EA), the agency reports.

Officers from the EA first visited the site in July 2007 when they say they discovered Farthing was stripping vehicles for their parts without a proper waste management license.

Farthing was told to either stop trading or to apply to the Environment Agency for a waste management license, EA officials say. When officers returned the site in October 2009, they say the defendant was still trading without a license or environmental permit. At the time of their visit, the officers estimated there were more than 50 end-of-life vehicles stored on the site.

When questioned, Farthing claimed he had stripped vehicles in the past but had not done so since the agency had told him to stop in 2007. He added that vehicles at his yard were bought for salvage and sold as complete cars. However, when officers checked the site, they say they discovered some of the dismantled vehicles had been scrapped in 2009, indicating he was still operating an illegal business.

“Scrap yards need to be permitted to safeguard human health and the environment," says Chris Povey for the Environment Agency. "We advised the defendant to obtain an environmental permit on a number of occasions, but he chose to ignore this advice and continued to trade illegally. We were left with no alternative other than to prosecute."

Appearing at Bristol Crown Court for sentencing, Farthing was given a three-month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months and ordered to pay £13,000 (US$20,650) costs. Previously, he had been found guilty of a total of two offences under the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010, including operating a regulated facility without a permit.