Surrey Heath Borough Council has successfully prosecuted a householder and a sole trader who did not take reasonable measures to prevent their waste being disposed of improperly.
Matthew Peake, who runs a business in Ashford, Middlesex, pleaded guilty to breaching his duty of care when hiring a company to take away waste on behalf of his business. The waste was later found fly-tipped in London Road, Camberley.
Mr Peake received a fine of £500 and was ordered to pay £400 costs.
Ashley Sayed, from Woking, pleaded guilty to failing in his duty to ensure the person who removed his waste was licenced to do so. Earlier this year Mr Sayed received a knock on his door from three men claiming to be tree surgeons. They offered to use their van to take away excess building waste on his property.
Mr Sayed agreed and paid the men £100 to do this. The waste was subsequently discovered fly-tipped in Stafford Lake, Bisley.
Mr Sayed received a fine of £1,000 and was ordered to pay costs of £433.
These are the first two prosecutions secured by the Council under the ‘Duty of Care’ legislation.
Every householder has a 'duty of care' to ensure that they have taken reasonable steps to dispose of waste in accordance with the law.
Householders are required to ensure that they are handing over their waste to a person or company who is authorised and licensed with a waste carriers licence to transport and dispose of it safely.
Portfolio Holder for Community Councillor Vivienne Chapman said: “I cannot emphasise enough the need for people to make checks on anyone other than the Council or its contractors when it comes to the removal of waste.
“Not only have these two men had fines imposed on them by the court, they have also ended up with a criminal record.”
Surrey Heath Audit, Counter Fraud and Corporate Enforcement Manager Julia Greenfield, said: “We are trying to change the public’s perception on fly-tipping.
“A lot of people don’t realise that they can actually be committing an offence if they hand their waste to a third party and it ends up being fly-tipped.
“This is a common misconception that we are working hard to change.
“I would urge householders to refuse unsolicited offers of rubbish removal, and use registered waste carriers whose details they have checked with the Environment Agency.”
For more advice and information on arranging for waste to be removed, please visit www.surreyheath.gov.uk/flytipping