Offender pays the price of hedgerow fly-tip

A man who failed to ensure his rubbish was legally disposed of has been ordered to pay £675 in fines and costs.

Published: Friday, 11th December 2020

Cherwell District Council’s street cleansing team spotted the 12 bags of waste dumped in a country hedgerow when driving between Kidlington and Bletchingdon in June. When removing the waste, the council’s environmental enforcement officers uncovered letters and packaging that allowed them to direct their investigation to the Kidlington area.

An offender was tracked down and pleaded guilty to a duty of care offence in relation to controlled waste at Oxford Magistrates’ Court on 13 November.

Cllr Dan Sames, Cherwell District Council’s Lead Member for Clean and Green, said: “This incident serves as a warning to those that try to cut corners when needing to dispose of excess waste. It may be tempting to use the services of someone offering to take waste away on the cheap or to dump it by a roadside or in a field but it could end up costing you much more.

“This individual has ended up paying the price in court, when it would have been much cheaper for him to use our kerbside collections, our reasonably priced home and garden excess service, or the county council’s household waste recycling centres.”

The rubbish that was found included rotting food and packaging and could have been legally disposed of in the council’s kerbside wheelie bins. The offender was ordered to pay a £200 fine, clean-up and legal costs of £445.28, and a victim surcharge of £30.

Illegal waste disposal in a public place is an offence punishable by a fine of up to £50,000 or 12 months’ imprisonment if convicted in a magistrates' court. The offence can attract an unlimited fine and up to five years' imprisonment for perpetrators convicted in a crown court.

If approached by a scrap dealer, or anyone else offering to remove waste, residents should request proof of their licence before allowing them to take the unwanted items away.

Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, residents have a duty of care to ensure their waste is properly disposed of. A £1,000 fine can be issued to anyone found to be the owner of fly-tipped waste.

Cllr Sames added: “We all have an obligation to ensure that we dispose of our rubbish legally and responsibly as it is not only more cost effective but better for the environment as well.”

Anyone with information about a fly-tip in the district should contact Cherwell District Council on 01295 227007.