Published: 09:00, 25 May 2016
A director and staff at a waste business have been fined more than £25,000 after illegally dumping rubbish on farmland.
Environment Agency officers spotted lorries owned by Ashford-based Green Box Recycling Kent fly tipping unwanted wood at Marlow Farm, near Lenham, with drivers either setting fire to it themselves or allowing others to do so.
Green Box director Richard Monks was fined £5,525 with £9,000 costs at Folkestone Magistrates Court yesterday, but pleaded guilty in a personal capacity.
Driver Andrew Malyan was also fined £3,689 with £3,000 costs, while farm manager Robert Clark was fined £1,205 with £3,000 costs.
The fines relating to the waste transfer business totalled £25,419.
Mr Monks did not instruct or encourage any of the drivers to carry out the activities but accepted that he knew that some loads of wood were being taken to Marlow Farm in Flint Lane to be burnt.
He chose to turn a blind eye to it and knowingly permitted up to 15 loads of waste wood to be deposited and burnt illegally at Marlow Farm.
However, Andrew Maylan said someone at Green Box, based at Ashford Industrial Centre, Cobbs Wood, instructed him to deposit the wood waste illegally. Mr Maylan is now subject to a criminal conviction.
The investigation, which also identified that waste wood had been dumped at Tanglewood, near Charing, came after a complaint to Maidstone Borough Council in 2012.
Environment manager Alan Cansdale said: “Their actions showed blatant disregard for the environment. Waste crime can undermine legitimate businesses.
“In cases like this where illegal operations are connected with licensed businesses, we have no hesitation in prosecuting those involved as we want to make sure that waste crime doesn’t pay.”
Mr Monks said he was "disappointed" the Environment Agency had pursued a "lengthy and costly prosecution in relation to the relatively minor breaches".
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