Counting the cost of fly-tipping

Three people are counting the cost of their actions after being ordered to pay a total of £2,065 in fines and costs for fly-tipping and waste related offences.

All three were taken to court by Lancaster City Council as part of its Operation Peregrine initiative, which aims to crack down on fly-tipping and make those responsible pay for their actions.

Ashley Grundy, of Norfolk Street in Lancaster, was fined £660, with costs of £60 and a £60 victim surcharge, after being found guilty of failing to comply with a request for information (made under s108 Environment Act 1995) about waste dumped in the back alley behind his home.

Grundy was asked to account for the rubbish, containing materials linked to his address, but refused to cooperate with investigators, leading to them taking action through the courts.

Katie Ball, of Leighton Court in Morecambe, was also fined £660, with costs of £60 and a £60 victim surcharge. The court heard that council enforcement officers were called to a patch of land behind Warren Road in Heysham, which had been used to fly-tip household rubbish. Ball, as the former occupant of the adjoining property, was asked to account for the rubbish but refused to cooperate.

Grundy and Ball both failed to turn up at court to answer the charges against them and were found guilty in their absence.

David Shute, of Myrtle Grove in Heysham, pleaded guilty to an offence under duty of care legislation, which requires householders to use a licensed waste carrier if they arrange for rubbish to be removed from their property.

The court heard that Shute had organised for a male, known only as ‘Matty’, to remove rubbish from his garden. The waste was later dumped in the car park at Heysham Nature Reserve. When questioned he could not provide the full name or any contact details of the person he had used and could not demonstrate that he had taken reasonable care to ensure that the waste was only transferred to a person authorised to carry waste. He pleaded guilty and was fined £275, with costs of £200 and a £30 victim surcharge.

Coun Brendan Hughes, Cabinet member with responsibility for Environmental Services, said: “Fly-tipping is a blight on our communities and the city council is doing all it can to stamp it out.

“We will robustly investigate and prosecute offenders to ensure the district is kept clean and tidy for the majority of residents who behave responsibly when it comes to rubbish disposal.

“These successful prosecutions should serve as a warning to others that their irresponsible actions could have a huge financial cost to their own wallets.”

As part of its Operation Peregrine campaign the council is urging residents and businesses wanting to make sure their waste is disposed of legitimately to think S.C.R.A.P.

•   Suspect all waste carriers. Don't let them take your rubbish until they provide proof of registration. Note their vehicle's registration plate.

•  Check that a waste carrier is registered on the Environment Agency's website.

•  Refuse any unexpected offers to have your rubbish taken away.

•  Ask how your rubbish will be disposed of - seek evidence of this.

•   Paperwork must be obtained: a proper invoice, waste transfer note or receipt, including a  description of the waste being removed and the waste carrier’s contact details.

If you want to join in the battle against fly-tipping and can offer any information which might lead to an offender being identified and caught, please call Lancaster City Council Customer Services on 01524 582491, email our customer services team or use the online reporting form.

Last updated: 10 September 2018