Ayrshire waste management licence holder handed £215,000 Confiscation Order for unlawful waste activity

January 22, 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.

A Confiscation Order of £215,000 was imposed on an Ayrshire operator on 3 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 11 August 2021 to four charges relating to contravention of various conditions of his waste management licence on or between 19 October 2016 and 6 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 21 December 2016 and 13 January 2019.

The Sheriff admonished Mr. Boyd at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court 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).

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.

This is valid as of 22nd January 2024.

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