Antrim farmer charged £5,000 for waste offences

A farmer from Co. Antrim was fined £5,000 (€5,647) for four breaches of waste management legislation by Coleraine Magistrates Court on Monday, July 17.

The potato farmer in question, Raymond Todd of Moyarget Road, Ballycastle, Co. Antrim, was charged with: two counts of keeping controlled waste in or on land without a waste management licence; one count of illegally keeping controlled waste in a manner likely to cause pollution of the environment or harm to human health; and one charge of failing to comply.

On two separate occasions between April 2016 and October 2016, members of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) visited a site on Moyarget Road, Ballycastle, where they found an area of approximately 925m² of waste comprised of rotting waste potatoes, waste timber and potato sludge.

The officers took samples of the waste, which was found to be polluting a nearby body of water, according to the UK’s Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs.

Todd had no licence or authorisation to keep waste on the site. He also failed to fully comply with a statutory notice – issued by the department – to clear the site and to dispose of the waste in an appropriate manner.

Along with the £5,000 fine, Mr Todd was given an order to pay £258.39 costs and an offender’s levy of £15.

Todd has been prosecuted by the NIEA twice previously – in 2010 for causing pollution to a waterway from his potato processing facility, and later in 2012 for depositing and retaining controlled waste, including potato waste.