Derry court where the men appeared.
The trial got underway at Derry Crown Court of three local men charged with offences linked to the discovery of an illegal dump at Carnmoney Road outside the village of Eglinton just over six years ago.
Thomas McGlinchey, 59, from Belfield Park in Foyle Springs, Robert Lynch, 77, from Carnmoney Road and John Ferguson, 65, from Prince's Terrace, are charged with depositing or permitting controlled waste to dumped on the site.
Lynch is also charged with keeping controlled waste without a waste management licence on the land and McGlinchey is further charged with keeping or allowing controlled waste to be deposited on the site.
All three deny committing the offences on dates between September 2012 and October 2013.
A barrister for the Public Prosecution Service told jurors the case arose out of an investigation carried out by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) in October 2013 on land owned by Lynch at Carnmoney Road.
He said between about 1995 and 2007 the site was operated as a landfill site, permitted under the terms of its licence, to accept waste such as stones, bricks and topsoil and non-polluting sludge from water treatment works.
Following a change in the regulations in 2003, the Carnmoney Road site, along with about 50 other sites in Northern Ireland, no longer met the criteria to accept waste and was subjected to a closure order effective from March 2007.
A modified waste management licence was issued to Lynch in October 2008 as a result of which no waste disposal operations were allowed at the site.
In September 2012, Lynch entered into an agreement with Brick Kiln Waste Management Limited giving them exclusive right to infill the site on condition that they complied with the conditions of the modified waste management licence. In June the following year, officers from the NIEA met with Lynch and with a representative of Brick Kiln Waste Management Limited as well as a representative from Faughan Valley Golf Club.
The barrister told jurors Lynch said the final intention was to restore the site and use it as a driving range.
He added: "The requirement that only inert material would be used in the restoration process was again made clear by the NIEA. officials and guidance documentation was given to the defendant Lynch and the Brick Kiln representative.The prosecutor said in October 2013, NIEA officers visited the site to inspect the material which had been dumped there and observed Ferguson driving a Brick Kiln lorry onto the site loaded with what looked like soil or clay.
"When the load was tipped it became apparent that it was not inert material as the waste management licence permitted, but was mixed waste throughout the load of organic material including soil, clay, plastic bottles, drink cans and ceramic tiles," the barrister said. Also found were confectionery bags with out of date best before dates on them.
“The prosecution case is that this waste was recent waste brought onto the site since it was closed in 2007 and contrary to the limited type of material allowed on to the site for restoration purposes," the prosecutor said. "You will hear that a GPS device was used to pinpoint the location of each of the trial pits and from that and the observations in the pits as to the depth of the waste, the extent of the area covered with illegal waste was ascertained together with the depth and the volume was calculated at 9,842 cubic metres.
“And again, it is possible to say that waste of this type is at least a ton per cubic metre, giving a total of 9,842 tons which would have cost £1,157,419 to process through the proper landfill facility at Craigahaullier landfill site. Thus burying it here at Carnmoney Road saved the person responsible a sum of that order," he said.
When interviewed by NIEA officials, the prosecutor said Lynch, who owned the site, said the only people with access to it were Brick Kiln and he told them they could only dump inert capping material on the site.
He said on one occasion he didn't like what he saw being dumped on the site and he got a representative from Brick Kiln to remove between 60 and 80 tons of materials including shredded plastic from the site. The jurors were told when he was interviewed the Ferguson said he didn't know the content of the load he'd dumped at the side. Jurors were told McGlinchey was the sole director of Brick Kiln and was not inter- viewed.
"The law says that if Brick Kiln is guilty of the offences, then Mr. McGlinchey as the director can be found liable if it is proved that he consented to or connived in the offending or at the very least failed to exercise reasonable diligence as he ought to prevent the offending", the prosecutor added.
The trial continues.
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