A waste dealer has been sentenced to 16 months in prison for illegally exporting tonnes of hazardous electrical waste to Africa, the Environment Agency said.
The agency's investigators found broken cathode ray tube televisions and ozone-depleting fridge freezers in four containers intercepted at ports between September 2012 and April 2013.
Joe Benson, 54, of Broad Street, Loughton, Essex, was sentenced to 16 months in prison at Snaresbrook Crown Court for illegally exporting 46 tonnes of hazardous waste to Nigeria, Ghana, the Ivory Coast and the Congo. He had earlier pleaded guilty.
He collected the electrical waste from civic amenity sites in London and the Home Counties and took it to his licensed waste site in Walthamstow, where it should have been tested for functionality and safety before being exported, the Environment Agency said.
It is thought he stood to make around £32,000 from the export of the intercepted containers, making money by collecting the waste and selling it on, and avoiding the costs of dealing with it safely.