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Fines heaped on illegal waste station

A Buckinghamshire scrap yard owner has been ordered to pay £26,800 today for operating without the necessary licence and for putting the environment at risk of pollution.

Sole trader Michael Komaroni, who runs a skip company from Harebridge Industrial Estate, Halton, in Buckinghamshire pleaded guilty to eight offences of handling waste without the correct licence and one offence of burning waste illegally.

Aylesbury Magistrates' Court fined him £2,000 for each offence and ordered him to pay compensation to the Environment Agency of £5,000 for avoiding licence fees. He was also ordered to pay costs of £3,487.

The court heard that Environment Agency officers visited the site numerous times
during 2006 and 2007 and found skips containing large amounts of commercial and industrial waste including waste electronic equipment, glass, wood, tyre rims and metal. As many as 40 scrap vehicles and skips full of car batteries were also found on site without the correct measures in place.

Environment officer Holly Linham said: “We spoke to Mr Komaroni on several
occasions and sent him reminder letters, explaining that he needed to apply for a waste management licence. However he ignored our warnings and continued to
bring additional waste onto the site without the necessary licence.

“By not having a licence the company avoided the cost of installing the correct
measures to protect the environment, and put human health and the environment at
risk, in an area close to the Grand Union Canal.

“Other operators in the area have either obtained or are applying for waste management licenses and have carried out work to ensure their sites will not
harm the environment. Today's fine should send a clear message that we will not
tolerate operators who persistently flout the law.”

The court gave Mr Komaroni credit for his early guilty plea and for being of
previous good character.

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