WASTE bosses who abandoned 2,000 tonnes of 'stomach churning' rotting rubbish in Dudley have been slammed for bringing 'months of misery' to the local community.

The glut of garbage - which equates to ten times the weight of a normal house - was left to rot at Shaw Road, Dudley in 2016 by Rowanoak Waste Services Ltd.

Last week, jurors at Wolverhampton Crown Court convicted directors of the company for their failure to comply with permit conditions and enforcement notices at the site, known as Rowanoak.

The Environment Agency officer in charge of the investigation said: “Waste crime is a serious offence with tough penalties.

"It can damage the environment, blight local communities and undermine those who operate legally.

"We aim to disrupt, prevent and investigate illegal waste activity and take enforcement action where we can.

"In this case, those found guilty, by being in breach of their permit, continued to operate their site illegally and continually ignored the Environment Agency’s efforts to reduce the waste.

"The Environment Agency use all the enforcement powers available where we believe environmental offences have been committed."

The court heard that operations at the site led to complaints of smells and dust.

Employees of nearby businesses described the smell as ‘stomach churning’ and felt physically ill as a result of the odour coming from the site.

The smell was described as rotting vegetables and resembled that of sewage.

The dust had impact of neighbouring businesses, covering customers’ cars and business vehicles.

Debris from the waste piles blocked the guttering and affected air conditioning at nearby factory units.

Enforcement notices were not complied with and the site was then abandoned in 2016 with a significant amount of waste left in situ.

Environment Agency officers worked with the landowners and the waste was removed in March 2017.

Kingswinford-based Rowanoak Waste Services Ltd and director Kevin Allan, of Perton, were found guilty on all counts in relation to failures to make sure the Shaw Road site was operated in accordance with the conditions of the permit and compliance notices.

Randle Hawkins, of Upper Gornal, was found guilty of non-compliance with a revocation notice but cleared of four other charges relating to the breach of permit conditions and enforcement notice.

Mak Waste Ltd - which operated at the site under the Rowanoak permit - and its director Brian McIntosh, of Bartley Green, had previously admitted their part in the failure to comply with the conditions of the permit on the site and the continual failure to action requests for compliance made by Environment Agency officers.

Edward Venables, also a director of Mak Waste Ltd, was found not guilty of all three charges against him.

The Environment Agency spokesperson added: “Allan, McIntosh and Hawkins have shown a complete disregard for the local community, subjecting local businesses to months of misery by illegally and inappropriately and storing large quantities of waste on the site.”

The defendants will be sentenced at Wolverhampton Crown Court later this year.