Crackdown on eyesore waste

On the site of the former McCann Skip waste transfer station, Cale Lane Industrial Estate

On the site of the former McCann Skip waste transfer station, Cale Lane Industrial Estate

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ILLEGAL waste sites that pose a threat to the environment have been targeted across Wigan borough.

Recent figures from the Environment Agency show that six sites are currently under investigation, three of which have been classified as high risk.

Last year five illegal sites in the borough were closed by investigators, part of 759 shut down across the rest of the country.

A spokesman for Environment Agency (EA) North West, said: “Waste crime is a serious offence that poses a risk to human health and can damage the environment.

“The Environment Agency is working with all enforcement agencies in Wigan to stamp it out. If you’re involved in illegal waste activities, you should be looking over your shoulder and expecting a visit from our enforcement officers.”

Wigan skip company McCann Plant (NW) was served an injunction earlier this year to remove the mountain of rubbish towering over its abandoned yard off Cale Lane in New Springs.

If owner James Manning does not clear the eyesore by February, he faces jail.

High risk sites are identified as posing a significant threat to the environment or the local community by increasing levels of pollution.

In the North West last year, the Environment Agency brought prosecutions against 44 individuals or companies with £263,300 worth of fines handed out.

Wigan business owner Nigel Isherwood narrowly avoided jail in April 2011 for illegally depositing and burning of waste.

Isherwood Skip and Container Hire Ltd of Ince Moss, was found guilty of depositing large quantities of soil and demolition waste, saving them £18,000 of disposal costs.

Mr Isherwood received a 26-week prison sentence suspended for two years.

The EA spokesman added: “We want to send a clear message to illegal waste operators, our team of skilled enforcement officers know where you are and they’re coming to get you.

“We will be pressing for the strongest possible penalties, including prison, for those convicted of these crimes against communities.

“If you have any information on where illegal waste activities are taking place please call our 24 hour incident hotline on 0800 807 060, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”