THE owner of a Three Towns based rubbish removal company who was slapped with a confiscation order of more than £200,000 has avoided further punishment at court.

William Boyd had been given six months last year to stump up a total of £215,000.

The 61-year-old owner of Boyd Brothers in Stevenston was hit with the order for contravening conditions of a waste management licence issued by Scotland's environmental watchdog.

Kilmarnock Sheriff Court was told last year that Boyd would either have to sell the business or close it down to pay the money back.

READ MORE: Three Towns rubbish removal company's owner faces £215k bill over licence breaches

But when Boyd made his latest appearance in the dock, on Wednesday, January 10, solicitor Simon Brown said his client had used up all his life savings and sold two flats, bought to fund his retirement, in order to come up with the cash.

Mr Brown added: "This matter has had a significant impact on him. It is a matter he is very keen to put behind him.

"He has no previous convictions and what seems to have happened is an unfortunate spiral.

"The business is now running simply to cover his costs. He is earning around £1,000 per month."

Before passing sentence, Sheriff Colin Bissett raised concerns that Boyd, of Barga Gardens in Saltcoats, had "still not learned his lesson".

“This long running saga is coming to an end," he said, "though it was unnecessarily prolonged due to your failure to engage with the reality of this situation.

"Reality is now setting in."

Sheriff Bissett admonished and dismissed Boyd - the legal equivalent of a slap on the wrists - on all the charges to which the business owner had pleaded guilty.

Boyd had originally pleaded guilty to four charges back in August 2021.

Boyd had admitted contravening four conditions of his waste management licence issued by the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA).

He admitted that on 25 occasions over a three-year period, from October 2016 to May 2019, at the company's Stevenston yard on Moorpark Road East, the quantity of waste on site exceeded the permitted 200 tonnes.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: Google Street View images show rubbish stacked high at the Boyd Brothers site in Stevenston.

Boyd breached the condition of his licence eight times in 2016, on nine occasions in 2017, six times in 2018, and twice in 2019.

He also admitted breaching a condition regarding the storage of waste on impermeable surfaces, risking contamination of the subsoil.

A further breach involved storing various types of waste at the yard for longer than the permitted period between November 2016 and May 2019.

Boyd also pleaded guilty to failing to complete and return paperwork required by SEPA.

That led to a final charge, which Boyd also admitted, of allowing various 'controlled waste' items - including a leather sofa, mattresses, a damaged fire place and four empty 250 litre drums - to be deposited in or on land at Boyd Brothers' yard between December 2016 and January 2019 without the authority of a waste management licence.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: Images show the extent of waste that had been dumped at the yard.

Calum McGregor, unit manager of SEPA’s Environmental Crime Team, said:  “SEPA officers will always try to work with businesses to resolve issues first and we are clear that operators who work with us will find a helpful and supportive agency.

"However, those who deliberately do the wrong thing will get the uncompromising regulator their behaviour deserves.  

“By contravening the conditions of his waste management licence, Mr Boyd was able to avoid expenses incurred by other businesses operating within the law.

"Also, by knowingly permitting the deposit of waste on site without the authority of a waste management licence he diverted waste away from legitimate waste businesses undermining the regulatory regime.

"This is unacceptable and we hope that the conviction and the sizeable POCA confiscation order sends a strong message to those operating within the waste sector that SEPA will take appropriate enforcement action against those who persist with such unlawful business practices - and there are significant consequences to doing so.” 

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: Images show the extent of waste that had been dumped at the yard.

SEPA first became aware of Boyd's failure to comply with his licence back in October 2016 and served a partial suspension notice the following month.

Further site inspections found evidence of new waste being brought on to the site and of waste not being stored on impermeable surfaces, with the resulting risk of pollution.

SEPA officers subsequently found that the conditions of the waste management licence continued to be contravened and that new waste continued to be brought onto site.

In January 2019 SEPA officers identified that around 1,000 tonnes of waste remained on site – around 800 tonnes more than was permitted.

A 'statutory notice of partial revocation' was served in May 2019, but after finding evidence he was still accepting new waste at the site without a licence, SEPA submitted a case to the procurator fiscal to consider a prosecution.

A SEPA spokesperson said most of the unauthorised waste had been cleared from the site, though the business's waste management licence remains partially revoked, preventing the acceptance of new waste at the site.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: Images show the extent of waste that had been dumped at the yard.

The business's 'waste carrier' registration, which is required for the business to transport waste, has also expired.

SEPA officials will continue to monitor the site.