The Environment Agency has prosecuted Hampshire scrap metal business Dase Engineering for waste offences.
Following complaints from the local community, the Environment Agency investigated the way the site in Bishops Waltham was being operated.
The court heard that over the past three to five years, the Environment Agency had concerns about the way the site was being run following regular inspections.
After a full audit of the site in September 2011, the company was served with an enforcement notice by the Environment Agency.
The audit had noted that there were issues with the storage of waste, particularly waste oils and fluids, which had the potential to contaminate local groundwater. Waste car batteries were stored incorrectly and no facilities were available for dealing with explosive components such as car air bags.
Despite a further inspection, the site failed to meet minimum standards.
Dase Engieering appeared at Fareham Magistrates Court and pleaded guilty to two waste offences and was fined a total of £20,000 plus costs of £5,782 and a £15 victim surcharge.
Environment Agency environment management team leader Dawn Theaker said: “Despite numerous warnings and attempts to advise the company to clean up its act, it was disappointing that very little action took place to remedy the various issues at the site.
“It was very concerning that operations at the site were run in a way that did not protect the environment. I hope this prosecution sends out a clear message to other waste operators that we will not hesitate to prosecute them if they fail to comply with their permit and put the environment at risk.”
Dase Engineering apologised, and said the offences were not deliberate but negligent, and had spent £15,000 on updating its working plan.