January saw four significant prosecutions for fly-tipping in Essex, with many more in the pipeline.
A man-in-a-van waste disposal operator cost a local business a £5,000 fine in court in January, plus over £1,000 in costs. Unlicensed waste operators, often found hawking their services through social media, seem good value and undercut bona fide operators as they are not licenced and simply fly-tip your waste. This costs the resident twice: once to have the rubbish taken away and again through your council tax when the local council has to clear the mess up.
Another local businessman, who runs a café in Waltham Abbey, and entrusted their waste to an unlicensed waste operator, received fines and costs of almost £5,000 when his waste was discovered dumped not far from his business premises.
And in a third case in January, an Essex handyman received a £2,000 fine plus 150 hours of community service for dumping waste after being paid to carry out a house clearance in Harlow and remove rubbish in Braintree.
Essex residents and small businesses are advised always to ask waste disposal operators for a receipt with the company’s full contact details, to see their waste carrier’s licence and understand where the waste will be taken and how it will be disposed of. Council enforcement officers search all fly-tips for evidence of the source and will take the business or resident to court if the fly-tipper themselves cannot be identified.
In other successfully prosecuted case, an Essex resident who was awarded a ‘Pride of Essex’ award in 2015 received fines and costs totalling £545 for allowing his van to be used to dispose of a bed. Had he called his local council, he could have arranged a special collection from outside his house for just £24!
Many more cases are currently working their way through the court system. Residents with any information which could help convict fly-tippers are encouraged to contact their local council in the first instance, or the Environment Agency on 0800 80 70 60.