A WREXHAM taxi firm has ended up with a £5,000 court bill after waste, including oil, from its premises was found dumped at a beauty spot.
Cerbydau Cymru Ltd of Brook Street in Wrexham had paid a scrap metal dealer £150 to get rid of the waste.
But a walker found it dumped on Minera Mountain, a site of special scientific interest of national and European importance because of its wildlife habitat and geological features.
Oil was running from the drums and other rubbish dumped close to the road and it was not far from a pond.
Barrister John Wyn Williams, prosecuting for the Environment Agency, said there was no environmental damage but the potential was there.
The company admitted failing to take all reasonable steps to prevent pollution and to ensure the waste only went to a licensed site, and failing to keep records. It was fined £1,500 with £3,500 costs.
Judge John Rogers QC said the company had no relevant previous convictions and he took into account it was not the company itself which actually dumped the waste.
He also had to take into account the limited financial resources of the company and the delay in the case, which he described as inexcusable.
The items were dumped back in March 2007 and the judge asked for a written explanation from the Environment Agency over why it had taken nine months to decide whether to prosecute or not.
The court heard how the waste was immediately traced to the taxi firm because of invoices and paperwork found among the rubbish, together with out-of-date licence plates.
Mr Wyn Williams said the agency had not been able to trace the person who deposited the waste on the site.
Paul Abrahams, defending, said his client’s company had closed one of its sites and had instructed a reputable firm to get rid of old vehicles.
A scrap dealer who lived on a caravan site in Ruthin Road had been instructed to take away other waste and had been paid £150 to do so.
That person was easily traceable and he was surprised it was only the taxi firm which had been prosecuted.
Mr Abrahams said the company was horrified when it heard what had happened to the waste.