Flytipping prosecution success
21 September 2022
A man from Barnstaple has been prosecuted for failing to meet his duty of care in relation to a flytipping offence.
The council’s Environmental Health team routinely investigate all flytipping incidents within the district and identified offenders are held accountable. Council Officers are sending out a clear message that dumping waste illegally, whether it be physically dumping the waste themselves or putting their waste in the hands of an unlicensed carrier, will result in a financial penalty.
Magistrates heard that in early February, Luke Shane Parkhouse, age 36 of 11 John Smale Road, Sticklepath, Barnstaple paid an individual £80 to take his household waste away. Mr Parkhouse assumed his waste would be taken to the local recycling centre however it was found dumped by North Devon Council's Neighbourhood Officer on the road through Hiscott.
Mr Parkhouse failed in his duty of care to check that the carrier had appropriate documentation to legally carry and dispose of his waste. Mr Parkhouse breached section 34 (2a) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 that states 'It shall be the duty of the occupier of any domestic property in England [F10 or Wales] to take all such measures available to him as are reasonable in the circumstances to secure that any transfer by him of household waste produced on the property is only to an authorised person or to a person for authorised transport purposes.'
A sentence of £354 in total, fine, costs and victim surcharge was issued to Mr Parkhouse at Barnstaple Magistrates Court on Tuesday 2 August for not adhering to his duty of care.
Lead member for the Environment at North Devon Council, Councillor Netti Pearson says: "It may come as a surprise to some people that it is the householder’s legal responsibility to ensure that they dispose of their waste responsibly, even when they have engaged a carrier to take it away. This prosecution shows that it can be very expensive for the householder when they don’t check a contractor’s authorisation, as well as for the taxpayer in clean-up costs. Flytipping is unacceptable, damaging to the environment, and is a matter that we take very seriously. If you want to dispose of waste, please adhere to your duty of care by checking that the carrier has an environmental permit and always keep details or a receipt."
Prosecution for dumping waste can result in fines of up to £5000 or unlimited fines where a business is involved.
Residents are being encouraged to report flytipping or other environmental offences on the council's website. More guidance about flytipping and how to ensure you choose a registered waste carrier can be found online.