A SKIP firm has been ordered to pay more than £5,000 after dumping waste at an illegal landfill site.

Dixons Skips Limited of Darbishire Street, Bolton was fined £3,000, and ordered to pay £2,189, plus a £15 victim surcharge at Manchester Magistrates Court after pleading guilty to depositing controlled waste on land without an environmental permit.

The firm is the first to be prosecuted by the Environment Agency after one of its largest surveillance operations in the North West.

Dixons illegally dumped mixed household and commercial waste six times at a site in Cheetham Hill, Manchester, between February 2 and February 16, 2011, the court heard. The site, known locally as the Old Lancashire Dairy Mill, was being used as a large-scale illegal landfill site, and was put under surveillance by the Environment Agency, in a project known as Operation Dublin.

Investigators spotted a number of firms dumping at the site, including Dixons. A Dixons representative told the court that the firm had requested a permit from the operator, then decided to stop using the site when this was not forthcoming.

The company said it stopped dumping at the site before it became aware the Environment Agency had concerns.

Greater Manchester environment manager Gordon Whitaker, from the Environment Agency, said: “Waste crime undermines legitimate business and the investment and economic growth that goes with it.

“Working alongside the police and other enforcement agencies, we are taking tough action to tackle the illegal disposal of waste, as this case demonstrates, forming part of our ongoing Operation Dublin crackdown.”

Dixons director Joanne Beddows said her firm had been a victim in this case.

“We have a previous unblemished record with the Environment Agency,”

she said.