A fly tipper who dumped rubbish on farmland near Ashington was brought to justice following an investigation by environmental enforcement officers of Northumberland County Council’s Housing and Public Protection Service
On the 4 November, George Robert Smith, from Ridgeway in Ashington, pleaded guilty to one offence of fly-tipping at Mid & South East Northumberland Magistrates Court. He was fined £480 and ordered to pay £270 compensation to a local farmer for clear up costs and crop damage. The magistrates also made an order for forfeiture of the vehicle used by Smith during the offence which has been seized and will be destroyed.
The offender was caught in July this year dumping loose waste onto the farmland from a trailer attached to a silver Suzuki Grand Vitara vehicle. Smith had dumped waste including a table, wooden panelling, bed ends, blankets, buckets and cement, as well as a quantity of loose sand and gravel.
Philip Soderquest, Head of Housing and Public Protection at Northumberland County Council said ‘Fly tipping is a serious environmental crime and the council will use all powers available to it, including prosecution to ensure offenders are held responsible for their crimes.
Unfortunately the rise of the illegal waste carriers, often advertising through social media, appears to be on the rise so I would like to remind the public and businesses that the law requires them when disposing of their waste to use a registered waste carrier.
Residents are advised that if they are to use an independent waste carrier they must always ask to see the operator’s waste carrier licence which is issued by the Environment Agency, and the relevant waste transfer notes. This is really important because if residents make the mistake of employing an unscrupulous operator and their waste is dumped illegally - they are committing an offence and could face a large fine.’
Householders should be particularly wary of businesses that only operate through social media and do not seem to have a landline phone number or business address. They should also be wary of anyone coming to their door offering to take away rubbish on the cheap.