A scrap dealer has been banned from running his business for eight years after council chiefs launched the first prosecution of its kind in Sunderland.
Thomas Adey, who was responsible for disposing of waste that was fly-tipped last year, is the first person to given a Criminal Behaviour Order for environmental offences following a prosecution by Sunderland City Council.
It comes after the Echo launched the Clean Streets campaign to encourage more pride in our city and put a spotlight on cleaning up Sunderland’s streets and open spaces.
Council chiefs say they will take tough action on people dumping waste and vowed to use tough powers including Criminal Behaviour Orders and seizing and crushing vehicles used by fly-tippers.
Since April 2017, Sunderland City Council has adopted a new environmental policy in response to councillors calling for a tougher stance which has since resulted in 8,985 environmental crime investigations in the city.
Adey was back in court after a council probe was launched when 30 or 40 sacks of rubbish were found dumped on a field at Barmston Park, Washington, in July, 2017.
"Inquiries found the waste was from a householder in Birtley," said Michelle Irving, prosecuting at Sunderland Magistrates' Court.
"The householder said he had paid £60 to Mr Adey's T & S Recycling and Scrap Collections company to remove the waste."
The court heard there was no evidence who had dumped the waste.
Adey, 37, of Coniston Avenue, Easington Lane, admitted failing to keep waste management records as part of a business.
"He is obliged to keep records for at least two years," said Ms Irving.
"No records have been provided, despite numerous requests to do so."
Paul McAlindon, defending, said Adey had health problems, adding: "He has been in hospital."
"His van was broken into, and some records were stolen.
"But he accepts he did not provide records when he should have done.
"He is the subject of a community order for similar offending, but his long term aim is to put these convictions behind him and start a properly,licensed recycling business."
As well as being given an a Criminal Behaviour Order for eight years, Adey was ordered to pay £400 in fines and costs.
Sunderland City Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport, Councillor Amy Wilson, said: "Mr Adey has been a serial fly-tipper and is known to several councils in our region and has appeared in several courts.
"Too many councils and too many council tax payers have had to bear the brunt and the cost of his inappropriate and illegal activities.
"To help curb his offending, the council applied for this Criminal Behaviour Order and it was granted by the court.
"This is the first Criminal Behaviour Order in respect of an environmental crime applied for by Sunderland City Council and will control the ability of Mr Adey to collect waste and scrap for the next eight years.
"The order covers not only Sunderland, but also County Durham and the Tyne and Wear areas.
"As a council, we will continue to investigate and prosecute fly-tippers and have recently adopted further powers including these Criminal Behaviour Orders, and also have powers now for seizing and possibly crushing vehicles used by fly-tippers.
"Most people and businesses manage to dispose of their waste in a proper and legal manner. For those that don’t, then the council will look to take enforcement action through fixed penalty notices or taking cases to court."
The order states:
The defendant must not, within the Tyne and Wear and Durham local authority areas:
(a) Offer, broker or advertise a waste disposal or waste collection service in any form or medium; and/or
(b) Carry, transport or otherwise traffic waste from residential or commercial premises directly, indirectly, by himself or in concert with others except where the waste is being carried, transported or trafficked for a registered waste carrier and notice has been given by the defendant in accordance with the terms of the order below.
The defendant must:
(1) Give 24 hr prior written notice to Sunderland City Council Environmental Services (by e-mail to Environmental.Enforcement@sunderland.gov.uk) of any registered waste carrier for whom he is working or assisting (including name, address and Waste Carrier licence details) and the registration mark of any vehicle used or to be used by the Defendant (either as a registered keeper, driven by the Defendant himself or where the Defendant is present in the vehicle as a passenger) for the carrying or transportation of waste.