Ice cream man duped by firm that fly-tipped his waste
somebody else fly-tips their waste – because it’s their responsibility to check where it’s going and who exactly it is who is picking it up.
There is no doubt fly-tipping is on the increase – some people will dump anything and everything.
So if you are considering calling in a clearance firm, do your homework first – check who they are and if they are properly registered.
If they’re not, find somebody who is – even if it costs you more – it could end up being much more expensive in the long run if you end up in court.
AN ICE cream man says he was duped by the owner of a clearance business who fly-tipped his garden waste in a layby at Hewitts Circus and landed him in court – and it could just as easily happen to you.
John Barton, 27, of Grove Crescent, Grimsby, pleaded guilty at Grimsby Magistrates Court to failing to comply with the duty imposed by section 32 of the Environmental Protection Act to ensure that waste removed from a property on Normandy Road was taken by a licenced and approved waste disposal service.
The charge relates to an incident at Barton’s partner’s home on February 7, when he contacted a waste removal service that he found on Facebook, asking them to remove some waste from the back garden, which was later found fly-tipped among 50 tonnes of other waste at the lay-by off Hewitts Avenue. Under the Environmental Protection Act it is the duty of the occupier of a property to ensure that any waste they are having removed has been done so in a secure way by an authorised
person, and by allowing an unlicensed operator to remove waste you can be made liable if the waste is found to be disposed of in an incorrect fashion.
Barton said that he was completely unaware that the person he had provided the waste to was not licenced, saying that the van of the waste removal service had an Environment Agency logo on it, leading him to believe that everything would be handled properly.
He said: “When the van pulled up at the house it had an Environment Agency logo, so I had no reason to believe that anything bad would have happened.
“I am an ice cream man, and when someone comes to buy an ice cream they don’t ask me for my licence first.”
Barton was interviewed by North East Lincolnshire Council in April, after his address was discovered on an item found amongst the fly-tipped waste, where he provided details of the waste removal service.
However, since then the council has been unable to track down the service, as the phone number provided by Barton did not work, and further details could not be collaborated on social media, Companies House and the Environment Agency’s public register. Prosecuting on behalf of the council, Joanne Ford, said that community compliance officers from the council had found a cardboard box with the Normandy Road address labelled on it amongst the fly-tipped waste, which also included garden waste, asbestos, car parts, children’s toys, chemical containers and paint tins.
After that the council requested that Barton attend an interview with them on April 30, which he did, and co-operated with the council by providing details of the waste service that he used. But the council was unable to track down the waste service provider after further investigation. Barton said that if he knew that the waste was going to be illegally dumped then he wouldn’t have acted the way that he did. He said: “I had some garden waste, that was mainly bits of mud and bricks, along with an old box from a Christmas present that my partner wanted removing.
“I asked someone on Facebook if they would be able to remove it for me, and never thought that I would need to ask them for a licence.
“I wouldn’t have acted the way that I did if I knew that the waste was going to be fly-tipped.
“I am an Ice Cream man and all of this has had me fearing for the reputation of my business. It seems unfair that this has been put on me in such way.”
Barton was given a six month conditional discharge, along with being told to pay a £20 victims’ surcharge and court costs of £85. Magistrate Dr Shore said: “You are free to go about your business, but if you commit any more offences within the next six months, then these charges will be brought back up and you will have to answer to them.”
■ Another man has been charged in relation to the fly-tipping at the Hewitts Circus lay-by and is due to appear in court in November.
John Barton’s waste was dumped on a lay-by off Hewitts Avenue after he was duped by a unlicenced waste removal service.
Fly-tipped waste at the lay-by near Tesco at Hewitts Circus.