The business owner of a local landscaping firm with a history of flytipping has been fined more than £1000 for illegally dumping waste in Wortley.
A large amount of rubbish including gardening tools, building material and other debris was found left in a parking area at the end of Hales Road, Wortley on July 24 2016.
CCTV footage showed the waste being deposited by a white transit van bearing the logo of AM Landscapes, the business owned and operated by Anthony Mitchell of Cornerstone Fold, Farnley.
Mitchell pleaded guilty to offences under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and the Control of Pollution (Amendment) Act 1989 at Leeds Magistrates Court on Monday.
The court heard that this is the third time Anthony Mitchell has been prosecuted for flytipping-related offences, having been found guilty of similar offences in both 2007 and 2010.
Mitchell told the hearing that an employee who no longer worked for the company had been driving the van at the time.
He was fined £1077 and must also pay £1618 in costs to clean up the waste and a £107 victim surcharge.
Helen Freeman, Chief Officer for Environmental Action at Leeds City Council said:
“The illegal dumping of rubbish is a blight and won’t be tolerated in Leeds. Where we have evidence to support our case, we will always seek to prosecute those responsible.”
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Notes for editors:
- Fly tippers can be fined up to £50,000 or given a 12 months prison sentence if convicted by Magistrates. If convicted at Crown Court, offenders can face an unlimited fine and up to five years imprisonment.
- Councils now have powers to seize vehicles involved in fly tipping, duty of care breaches and not having a Waste Carriers Licence. Likewise, a request of forfeiture of a vehicle involved in fly tipping can be made to Magistrates at the time of conviction in serious cases. They can also issue fixed penalty notices of between £150 to £400 for small-scale fly-tipping offences instead of prosecution.
- Businesses have a higher level of duty of care to ensure that their waste is not flytipped and is contained and disposed of in a legal manner. Proof of legal disposal should be obtained and produced to councils on request. A waste carrier’s licence should also be held if removing other people’s waste for payment regularly as part of their business. To ensure householders meet their duty of care, you should always check anyone you pay to remove waste has the appropriate licence and can produce receipts to show that waste has been disposed of properly.
- Unlicensed carriers face a £5,000 fine. Householders who fail to check and whose waste is then dumped by an unlicensed carrier could also face a £5,000 fine.
- The council and other organisations across Leeds can re-use and remove items. For more information see http://www.leeds.gov.uk/residents/Pages/Bulky-item-collection-service.aspx.