News release from 26/08/2022

Fine totalling over £550 for Milton fly-tip

Fine totalling over £550 for Milton fly-tip

A court has ordered a woman to pay a fine of more than £550 after waste linked to her household was dumped in countryside in Milton.

The fly-tip, made-up of cardboard boxes, packaging, and other household waste, was reported to South Cambridgeshire District Council in May 2021. It had been found by a passer-by on Fen Road, Milton.

A Council Enforcement Officer promptly visited the site and discovered that, amongst the waste, there was a printed address that linked it to a property in Sapley, Huntingdon.

During an interview, the couple living there admitted that they had paid a company a large sum of money to have the cardboard and other waste taken away. However, they did not make any checks to ensure that this company was a Registered Waste Carrier. No paperwork including receipts, invoices, quotes, or Waste Transfer Notes were asked for or supplied either. Their waste was then dumped in the countryside.

The case was subsequently heard at Cambridge Magistrates Court on Tuesday 23 August 2022, when one member of the household pleaded guilty to the charge under Section 34 Environmental Protection Act 1990 – “Duty of Care as respects waste.” 

They were given a fine penalty totalling £554. During the court hearing, it was commented by the Solicitor for the Council: “If she had undertaken the ‘due diligence’ required and carried out the basic checks, she would have realised that the person or company disposing off her waste was not an authorised person or regulated to do so.” 

All households have a duty of care to ensure that any contractor or business removing waste from a property is checked against the Environment Agency registers for authorised waste carriers, and that prior to waste being removed from a household, a Waste Transfer Note is completed.  If these checks or paperwork are not completed, and waste is allowed to be taken away by unlicensed carriers, it can lead to fines and a criminal record.

South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Lead Cabinet Member for Environment, Cllr Brian Milnes, said: “This is another example of someone paying cash, with no questions asked, to get rid of their rubbish. It is vital that, if you have waste that you are paying to be removed, you ensure whoever is taking it off your hands is a Registered Waste Carrier. It’s easy to check this on the Environment Agency website. There should also be paperwork that clearly describes what the waste is, and where it is being disposed of safely. We know that South Cambridgeshire residents hate fly-tipping as much as we do and so will continue to investigate all reports of it and take action against those responsible. However, we would of course much rather residents simply use properly Registered Waste Carriers in the first place.”

One of the District Councillors for Milton and Waterbeach ward, Cllr Paul Bearpark, added: “I know that many of our residents find the sight of fly-tipped material upsetting. In many instances we’ve been able to arrange for it to be cleared up quickly and preventative measures such as signage and CCTV being put in place to deter it in future. It’s a criminal offence so I’m pleased that the Council has been able to successfully prosecute the offender on this occasion. If you see fly-tipped material report it directly to the council via our website or get in touch with my fellow District Councillors Anna Bradnam, Judith Rippeth, or myself.”

If you witness someone fly-tipping, call the police on 999 and report it as an environmental crime in progress. Report fly-tipping that you come across to the Council.

You can check whether a waste carrier is registered with the Environment Agency online. This is a free service that is available for anyone to access.