Gateshead business partners sentenced for waste crimes

Gateshead business partners who ran an illegal waste site have been sentenced for several waste offences. This followed a joint investigation carried out by the Environment Agency and Newcastle City Council into several waste offences.

Louise Margaret Bland, 51, of King Street, Gateshead, attended Newcastle Crown Court on Thursday 20 January for sentence after previously pleading guilty to operating an illegal waste site and failing to produce waste transfer notes.

David Ashley McNeill, 34, of Morris Street, Gateshead, was sentenced at Newcastle Magistrates’ Court on 13 January after previously pleading guilty to four fly-tipping offences, operating an illegal waste site, failing to comply with a notice to clear the site and failing to produce waste transfer notes.

Fly-tipping waste in Newcastle

The court learned that McNeill and Bland were partners in a business known as both NE1 Waste Management and NE1 Garden and Waste Services. They were granted a waste carrier’s licence on 23 July 2020, which is a legal requirement for anyone transporting waste. Carriers are required to keep records of waste types and amounts, and the destination waste is taken must be legally authorised to accept it.

Over the next four months there were four instances in which Newcastle City Council Enforcement Officers traced fly-tipped waste across the city at Woodstock Road, Westfield Road and Beaumont Street back to individuals who had paid for waste removal services from the pair via their Facebook page.
In August 2020, the Environment Agency were notified by the council that NE1 Garden and Waste Services had leased a disused former scrapyard at Walker Road and were also tipping waste there.

They registered a ‘waste exemption’ for the site, which means certain limited activities can occur without the requirement for an Environmental Permit, but an Environment Agency visit found the activities fell outside of the exemption. The pair were ordered to cease all activity at the site immediately.

They were given a deadline of 21 September 2020 to clear the site of waste, which contained mattresses, freezers, sofas, timber, plastic and black bags. In September, there were two instances in which Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service attended fires at the site.

Ordered to clear the site

The Environment Agency carried out further checks and discovered there had been new deposits of waste. McNeill claimed fly-tippers had broken in and dumped some of the waste in the yard.

In October 2020, the Environment Agency again issued a notice to McNeill to clear the site of the waste he had deposited. In the month that followed both McNeill and Bland were given notice to produce the legally required waste transfer notes for waste transported by them to the site at Byker. No notes were produced.

When interviewed in December 2020, Bland claimed to have no knowledge of the fly-tipping incidents across the city, and that the waste she collected had been disposed of correctly either at the Walker Road site or by transporting to a site authorised to accept it. She said that reoccurring fly-tipping at the Walker Road site had resulted in McNeill having to end the lease there.

McNeill was sentenced to a 12-month community order to include 25 days rehabilitation, fined £100 and ordered to pay a £95 victim surcharge.
Bland was sentenced to a 12-month community order to include 20 days rehabilitation activity. She was fined £100 for breaching an unrelated suspended sentence and also ordered to pay a £95 victim surcharge.