News release from 23/03/2023
Landlord is fined for fly-tipping waste from renovation work on his rented property
A landlord has been successfully prosecuted after construction and renovation waste from his rental property was found dumped in Cottenham.
The dumped rubbish consisted of timber, mattresses, carpets, tiles, and other household waste, and was removed from a property in Huntingdon as part of renovation works before renting the home out again.
Evidence from the waste pile, dumped in Long Drove, was investigated by the Environmental Crimes team supported by officers from the South Cambridgeshire District Council Environmental Health team.
Checks with Huntingdonshire District Council revealed the owner was a landlord living in Hunstanton, Norfolk, who said a friend had been looking after the property - but he was unable to provide any contract of employment, or other documented proof of liability for this person.
The landlord admitted work had been carried out on the property and identified several items that were found in the waste as being from his address. He further admitted that he hadn’t made the necessary checks on the contractors regarding the waste disposal.
He pleaded guilty to failing in his duty of care and was fined £400 with £1,000 costs - plus a criminal record.
All businesses have a duty of care to ensure that any “contractor” removing waste from a property is checked against the Environment Agency registers for authorised waste carriers, and that prior to waste being removed, a Waste Transfer Note is completed.
Failure to secure such paperwork or allowing waste to be taken away by unlicensed carriers can result in severe financial penalties.
Cllr Henry Batchelor, Lead Cabinet member for Environmental Services, said: “This is an excellent example of joined up working within South Cambridgeshire District Council with Huntingdonshire District Council providing mutual aid and support to bring about a successful result in court.
"It also highlights the dangers of not taking all reasonable precautions to safeguard waste transfers. Fly-tipping is a blight on the local environment, a danger to public health and a hazard to wildlife. It also undermines legitimate waste businesses.”
Cllr Annika Osborne, member for the Cottenham ward, said: “We are really pleased that this action has been taken in our battle to rid our communities of the eyesore of fly-tipping. We hope this court case will act as a deterrent to other to this deeply anti-social criminal behaviour.”
The Government currently only measures the cost of clearing larger scale fly tipping incidents, described as “tipper lorry load size or larger.” In 2020/21, 39,000 or 4% of total incidents were of ‘tipper lorry load’ size or larger, which is an increase of 16% from 33,000 in 2019/20. For these large fly tipping incidents, the cost of clearance to local authorities in England in 2020/21 was £11.6 million, compared with £10.9 million in 2019/20.
- 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 in South Cambridgeshire to the District Council.
- You can be prosecuted even if your waste is fly-tipped by someone else on your behalf. If paying someone to take rubbish away, always use a registered waste carrier, which you can verify on the Environment Agency website, to provide a skip or collect your rubbish so you can be confident that it will not end up dumped.
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