A man has pleaded guilty at Newtownards Magistrates’ Court to waste offences relating to a bonfire next to the electrical sub-station on the Circular Road in Newtownards, Co. Down.

Gareth Gill (51) of Abbot’s Walk, Newtownards pleaded guilty to two charges under the Waste and Contaminated Land (Northern Ireland) Order 1997, for which he was fined £150 each and ordered to pay a £15 offender’s levy

On June 25, 2018, Police Service Northern Ireland (PSNI) officers went to Gill’s yard, where they found a large amount of waste consisting of scrap wood, pallets, carpet and underlay.

Discussion with Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) officers confirmed the site was not authorised for the storage of such material.

At a follow-up visit on July 2, 2018, NIEA officers issued Gill with a notice to remove the waste to an authorised site.

However, on July 8, 2018, PSNI officers observed Gill transporting and depositing the waste to a site adjacent to the Circular Road sub-station, where a bonfire had been built.

The Environment Agency said that there are lots of signs to look out for illegal waste burning, which could suggest suspicious activity.

These include:

  • Out-of-hours activity at night, over weekends and during bank holidays;
  • Smoke caused by constant burning;
  • An increase in the number of lorries entering a site;
  • Waste going into a site but not coming out with increasing quantities of waste stockpiled on site;
  • Water pollution;
  • The lack of a sign at the site entrance giving the operator’s name and permit number;
  • Flyers advertising cheap disposal rates;
  • Odour caused by rotting waste on the site.

The Environment Agency said that fly-tipping should be reported to your local council.