A man has been fined almost £100 after rubbish he paid a scrap dealer £20 to dispose of was found dumped in a Sunderland street.
The Castletown resident was ordered to pay £95 and issued with a formal warning when the items were discovered in across the other side of the River Wear in Millfield.
Split bags of wood, window frames and other general household waste were found on land off Deptford Terrace by Fly-Tip Investigation Officers on one of their routine patrols.
After evidence linked these back to an address in Castletown, the householder was formally interviewed under caution.
He said he had paid a scrap dealer, who visited his property asking for an old metal bed frame from the garden and offered to take away between four and six bags of general household waste for £20 while he was there.
But when asked about the waste contractor and what checks he made about how the waste was to be disposed of, he said he had no idea who the scrap dealer was, nor did he make any checks about the contractor or how he planned to dispose of the waste.
Councillor Michael Mordey, deputy leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “Householders have a legal ‘Duty of Care’ to ensure that their waste is disposed of lawfully and failure to do so is an offence.
“Waste collected by unlicensed waste carriers often ends up being fly-tipped around the city, blighting local communities.
“So it’s very important that if you’re thinking of using a private contractor, you make sure that they are legitimate and that they have a waste carrier’s licence, because if the person you use then fly tips the waste you could be the one who has to pay the costs of having it cleaned up.
“Alternatively we’d suggest that anyone with large items of furniture or fridges to dispose of uses the council’s bulky waste service which costs £17.50 for up to eight items.”
The council says that since the launch of its Environmental Enforcement Policy last February, the team has carried out a total of 4,168 investigations into environmental crimes across the city, including littering, dog fouling and fly-tipping.
They added that this has resulted in more than 500 formal warnings being issued and 165 fines issued for waste offences across the city.
The Echo’s Clean Streets campaign is asking all Wearsiders to be more responsible for their own waste.
Anyone who sees items they think have been fly-tipped on a street or green space can contact Sunderland City Council to arrange its removal either by reporting it online at sunderland.gov.uk or by calling 0191 520 5550.