A former director has been handed a community sentence and ordered to pay £4,000 costs after admitting to a major breach of environmental regulations.

Vehicles belonging to John Stride's firm, Orion Support Services Ltd, were caught in the act, illegally dumping an estimated 160 tonnes of waste at Veolia UK's Wapsey Wood Landfill Site in Gerrards Cross.

The dumped weight, similar to the load of a Boeing 787 aircraft, was part of a larger unsanctioned dump of more than 600 tonnes dispersed over the bank holiday weekend of May 26 to 29 in 2018.

Bucks Free Press: Dumped waste

On October 20, 2023,  Stride of 55 Theydon Park Road, Theydon Bois, Epping, entered a guilty plea at Slough Magistrates.

Subsequently, at Reading Magistrates, he was condemned to 120 hours of community work, a victim surcharge of £85 and costs totalling £4,000. 

Howard McCann, the prosecutor from the Environment Agency, detailed in court how roughly eight lorry loads of waste, provided by Orion Support Services Ltd, had appeared at the closed landfill site.

Despite increased security and vigilance by the site operator, Veolia UK, an attempt was made to further violate the site with additional waste from Mr Stride's vehicles the subsequent weekend, which fortunately was thwarted.

At the time of these incidents, 56-year-old Mr Stride was the only director of Orion Support Services Ltd, which held a waste site operation permit at London's Cody Road Business Centre in Canning Town.

The company ceased operations in December 2019.

The Environment Agency's Environment Manager, Barry Russell, expressed his stance.

He said: "Through our officers’ investigations this prosecution sends out a strong signal to others that we will continue to fight tirelessly to combat illegal waste crime and bring those responsible to justice."

Mr Russell urged both residents and businesses to contribute to the cause by ensuring their waste doesn't end up in the hands of law-breaking operators.

Sharing caution and civic responsibility, the Environment Manager encouraged the public to report any questionable waste operations on 0800 807060.

Bucks Free Press: Lorry

The Environment Agency's Crime Team managed to link the waste back to Mr Stride's vehicles and to his previously operating site in Canning Town, using comprehensive investigation techniques which included Veolia UK's CCTV footage and vehicle tracking data alongside other evidence.

Recognising the items discovered up at the landfill location, Mr Stride confirmed during his interview that the waste was likely processed at his company site based in Canning Town, thus accepting responsibility for the illegal dump.

Consequently, Mr Stride has been sentenced to a community service of 120 days of unpaid work, a 'Rehabilitation Activity Requirement' of 30 hours, and fines totalled at £4,085.