North West Wales

Porthmadog Skip Hire owners jailed for illegal waste

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Media captionSkip hire business owners jailed for illegal waste storage

The owners of a Gwynedd skip hire business have been jailed for illegally storing waste.

Patricia Gaffey, Michael Gaffey and Joseph Gaffey of Porthmadog Skip Hire pleaded guilty to all charges, including breaching permit conditions.

They also failed to comply with two enforcement notices and a suspension notice.

They were each sentenced to 10 months in prison.

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) officers found the business was storing more waste than it was allowed to on its yard at Penamser Industrial Estate.

Under the terms of its permit, it was allowed to keep up to 5,000 tonnes of waste per year on site, stored in appropriate areas.

Risks

But NRW estimated it was storing 7,800 tonnes of waste on the site, which was not stored correctly.

The waste was considered to pose a risk of serious pollution and a risk to human health, particularly if caught fire.

Dylan Williams, operations manager for NRW, said: "We always try to work with businesses to make sure they comply with the conditions in their permit.

"But, in cases like this, when a business has been given every opportunity to comply with the conditions in their permit but fail to do so, we have to take legal action to ensure the safety of the local environment, community and the interests of legitimate operators."