Posted on Tuesday 18 July 2017
A Gateshead man has been fined nearly £900 by magistrates this week after admitting two waste offences.
Tony Smith of Pensher Street East in Felling pleaded guilty at Gateshead Magistrates’ Court following an investigation by Gateshead Council.
Mr Smith came to the attention of Gateshead Council last year after enforcement officers were called to investigate a large fly-tip in the Wardley area. The illegally dumped material included a substantial amount of furniture and household waste.
During the investigation, enforcement officers interviewed a number of individuals and established that although the waste originated from several different sources, in each case it had been collected by Tony Smith, who trades as both Superb Gardens and Global Gardening Services.
When questioned, Mr Smith did not admit to having fly-tipped the materials and could offer no explanation as to why they had been subsequently dumped. Council officers asked for his authority to transport controlled waste and for copies of his waste transfer notes relating to these items, but he failed to produce any documentation.
It later came to light that Mr Smith has previously been prosecuted by the Environment Agency for operating an illegal site where waste was being burnt.
Mr Smith pleaded guilty to a charge of failing to provide waste transfer notes or a waste carrier licence and was fined a total of £864 with costs.
Anneliese Hutchinson, Service Director of Development, Transport and Public Protection, says:
“This is our eleventh successful prosecution in recent months and shows how determined we are to crack down on fly-tippers who spoil the environment and cost taxpayers’ money.
“We’ve seen an increase in the number of operators, many of whom advertise their services on social media, who charge less than a licensed operator. But what people don’t appreciate is that they often just fly-tip your waste instead of disposing of it responsibly.
“The public can help us by ensuring that anyone they use to take away waste has the proper documentation and is going to dispose of it properly. The law now states that anyone who uses an unauthorised collector can also be prosecuted and fined.
“The council operates its own discounted bulky waste collection service, but if you choose to use a private company then you should always, always ask to see their waste carrier licence which is issued by the Environment Agency. If they don’t have one, then you’ll be breaking the law if you pay them to dispose of your waste.
“You should also get a receipt, including the details of who collected the waste and a description of the waste.“
If people have concerns about a waste carrier not being properly authorised, or someone not disposing of waste correctly, they should contact Gateshead Council on 0191 433 7225 or email firstname.lastname@example.org