A self-employed builder has been ordered to pay more than £600 by a court after a Burnley Council investigation caught him dumping rubbish in a country lane.
Council enforcement officers launched their investigation after complaints from nearby residents that the Mill Hill Lane area of Hapton was a “hot spot” for flytipping.
Sam Dearden (24), of Wallhurst Close, Worsthorne, Burnley, admitted the unauthorised deposition of waste when he appeared before Burnley Magistrates Court. He was fined £300 and ordered to pay £210 costs and £125 in compensation.
Burnley magistrates were told that in October 2019 a streetscene officer was informed that a quantity of building waste had been dumped in the area. The officers visited the site and gathered evidence which led them to identifying a van involved in the flytipping.
Subsequently Dearden contacted the investigating officer and admitted he was driving the van on the day the flytipping incident occurred. Initially he denied any involvement in the flytipping but when confronted with the evidence admitted: “You’ve got me, ain’t ya”.
Councillor Cosima Towneley, the council’s executive member for community and environmental services, said: “This successful prosecution is the result of support from watchful residents and the hard work of council officers to gather enough evidence to bring this to court.
“This person was selfish enough to dump rubbish,degrading the environment and spoiling our countryside, and all because he couldn’t be bothered to do the right thing and get rid of it in the proper way.
“We will be continuing to use a wide range of enforcement measures to catch flytippers who treat our beautiful countryside and even our back streets as their own private rubbish tips. My message to them is ‘we have ways of catching you and if we do you will be taken to court where you could end up with a hefty fine and risk your reputation.’ It’s your waste and your responsibility to make sure it’s properly disposed of.
“On a general note, householders should also be aware that they could also be fined in certain circumstances if the contractor you’ve paid to dispose of your waste doesn’t do that in a proper way.”
The council has launched an anti-flytipping campaign “Let’s SCRAP flytipping” in a bid to cut down on illegal dumping of rubbish across the borough.
The campaign reminds home and business owners they have a legal obligation to ensure their rubbish is disposed of correctly:
Suspect – all waste carriers; make sure they are legitimate
Check – their registration details and verify them via the Environment Agency website
Refuse – unexpected offers to have rubbish taken away, you don’t know where it could end up
Ask – what will happen to your rubbish and how it will be disposed of
Paperwork – get a printed record such as an invoice, waste transfer note or receipt from the waste carrier. If they won’t provide them be suspicious and refuse to use them.