Support our Nation today - please donate here

Recycling company fined £41,000 for illegal waste activities

03 Aug 2023 3 minute read
Merthyr Tydfil Magistrates’ Court. Photo via Google

An organic liquid waste recycling company has been fined £41,310.00 for the illegal spreading of waste at a farm near Brecon in August 2021.

Whites Recycling Limited were sentenced at Merthyr Tydfil Magistrates’ Court last week following guilty pleas to two offences, including the breach of environmental permit conditions related to the spreading of waste to farmland, contrary to the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2016.

An investigation carried out by officers from National Resources Wales between July -August 2021, found that liquid waste containing a mix of food and brewery waste with poultry washings, had been spread on a farm near Brecon in significant quantities.

The volume exceeded the rates set out in their environmental permit posing a significant risk of pollution to surface and groundwater.

No spread zone

NRW officers also found that the spreading of waste had taken place in an identified ‘no spread zone’ – an area usually marked on a map to ensure that areas of particularly high risk or vulnerability are not exposed to any of the spreading.

Whites Recycling Limited are a specialist waste management service, that dispose and recycle waste sludge and liquid waste, the majority of which is generated by the food industry.

The company has an environmental permit, which means they can lawfully spread waste to farmland in circumstances where it can be demonstrated that land spreading will result in agricultural or ecological benefit.

Before the waste can be spread, the permit states that the company must notify NRW using a deployment form, and NRW must agree to the spreading.

This ensures that waste is only permitted to be spread to land when it benefits either the soil or the crop being grown in it and where it will not pose a risk of harm to the environment.

At the sentencing on 26 July at Merthyr Tydfil Magistrates’ Court,  the company was fined £14,000 per offence, ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £190 and NRW’s legal costs of £13,120, bringing the total to £41,310.


Chris Gurney, Environment officer for Natural Resources Wales said:  “Our environmental regulations are in place for a reason. Every business in the waste industry must have a permit to move, store, or treat waste, and to ensure it’s done in a way that does not pose any risk to the environment or human health.

“Wherever possible, we work with operators to make sure their activities comply with the law.

“But when a business fails to operate within the terms of their permit and guidance provided, we will take appropriate action to ensure the safety of the local environment, community and the interests of legitimate operators.

“We hope the outcome of this case sends a message to other operators that we take land spreading offences very seriously and we will take the appropriate steps to protect people and nature.”

Support our Nation today

For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Our Supporters

All information provided to Nation.Cymru will be handled sensitively and within the boundaries of the Data Protection Act 2018.