A convicted illegal waste operator ordered to repay thousands of pounds has been told the debt will "follow him" all his life.
Raymond Shepherd was jailed for 18 months in 2013 for running Albert Hill Skip Hire in Darlington without a permit.
A confiscation order sought to recoup £1m but a court ordered the 61-year-old pay back £14,000.
Shepherd - now on benefits - will have to pay more if his assets increase.
Shepherd, of Rookhope, was convicted following an Environment Agency investigation which found the company's premises at Dodsworth Street was full with illegally-held waste.
It also operated an illegal waste transfer station at Whessoe Road in Darlington.
The Environment Agency said he made £980,207 from the operations, a claim he denied at his trial in 2013. It added there was no information about where the money had gone.
A confiscation hearing at Teesside Crown Court accepted on Thursday that Shepherd had no hidden assets.
However, the agency said should he come into any future assets he would be liable for the full amount.
Spokesman Oliver Harmar said: "This is a debt that will follow Raymond Shepherd around for the rest of his life.
"Shepherd's illegal waste operations were carried out in the interests of profit, unfortunately at the expense of the environment.
"Not to mention by not complying with regulations, he undermined legitimate businesses."