A man who collected waste for an old school friend having advertised on Facebook has been ordered to pay over £600 for failing to comply with a fly-tipping investigation.
Dayne Hitch, 27, of Newton Hall, Durham, was brought before a court by Durham County Council following enquiries into fly-tipped waste, as part of its Operation Stop It campaign,
which included a receipt bearing the name of the friend.
Hitch pleaded guilty to an offence under the Environment Act 1985 and was ordered to pay £631.35.
Newton Aycliffe magistrates heard on Wednesday how a council warden visited the Mark’s Lane area of West Rainton on March 17, to investigate potential fly-tipping cases.
The council worker found several bags filled with waste including polythene and plastic bottles, among which was a receipt for building materials bearing a man’s name and
The warden contacted the man who told how he had paid Hitch, of Barrasford Road, to remove waste from an address he was working at.
He told the warden he usually used somebody else to remove waste but had seen the defendant had started advertising his services on Facebook.
As Hitch was an old school friend, he had wanted to support him in his new business.
The man provided the warden with the defendant’s address resulting in Hitch being served with a legal notice requiring he attend an interview
He did not respond to the notice and despite subsequently telling the warden he wanted to “get it sorted,” Hitch asked for more time saying he had just started a new job.
The defendant was given a two week extension to the legal notice to allow him to settle into the job.
Hitch later agreed to attend an interview on May 21, but he failed to do so and was subsequently charged.
A guilty plea was entered by letter in which Hitch acknowledged he had done the wrong thing, expressed regret and said he had learnt from his mistake.
Magistrates fined him £133, ordered him to pay costs of £468.35 and a victim surcharge of £30.
Operation Stop It sees the council work with the Environment Agency, Durham Constabulary and Crimestoppers to take action against fly-tippers and raise awareness of
how waste should be disposed of.
Ian Hoult, the council’s neighbourhood protection manager, said: “We take all fly-tipping in our beautiful county extremely seriously and seek to take action against those responsible.
“As part of this, we often seek to interview people to help with our investigations.
“The financial penalty and criminal record Mr Hitch now has to contend with show what can happen if people don’t comply.
“This case is also a timely reminder that people need to satisfy themselves that any waste they give to someone else will be disposed of correctly, be that at one of our household waste recycling centres or through our bulky waste collection service.”
For information about locations of household waste recycling centres and the bulky waste collection service, visit www.durham.gov.uk/recycling
Information about reporting fly-tipping can be found at www.durham.gov.uk/flytipping