Recycling firm boss jailed for dumping waste in factory
The owner of a recycling firm has been jailed for dumping waste in an abandoned factory.
Michael Coates, who ran Arrigo Recycling and CNC Northeast, gained access to a disused factory in Sunderland which had been turned into an illegal tip.
The 33-year-old, of Peareth Hall Road in Washington, pleaded guilty to five offences under the Environment Act.
He was jailed at Newcastle Crown Court for one year and two months.
Coates also admitted disposing of waste at an abandoned warehouse in Commercial Street, Middlesbrough.
His co-defendant Michael Strong pleaded guilty to two offences under the Environment Act, relating to the site in Sunderland.
The 51-year-old, of Fairleigh Road in Sunderland, was given a community order for 12 months, with 140 hours of unpaid work.
Arrigo Recycling and CNC Northeast have both since closed.
The Environment Agency said Coates and Strong were caught when it carried out a surveillance operation at the disused factory building on Lisburn Terrace in Sunderland and found it contained more than 650 tonnes of waste.
It said the pair - who had got hold of a fake permit which could be used to deceive customers into believing waste could be legally deposited - were only responsible for a portion of the waste.
Jamie Fletcher, area environment manager at the Environment Agency, said: "Those who ignore environmental laws can cause serious pollution to the environment, put communities at risk and undermine legitimate business and the investment and growth that go with it.
"We hope that the sentencing handed down today acts as a deterrent to those who may think they can get away with it."