Three people have been fined for failing to uphold their duty of care after their household waste was dumped on the roadside.
Chelmsford City Council took action against Albert Popa (23, formerly of Chestnut Walk, Chelmsford), Jane Hart (49, of Naseby Road, Ilford) and Graham Payne (56, of Orchid Grove, Leigh-on-Sea) for offences under the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
Two of the householders - Ms Hart and Mr Payne - were prosecuted after giving rubbish to unlicensed waste carriers. The cases appeared at Chelmsford Magistrates Court on 2 March.
Mr Payne, a bathroom fitter, paid a rogue carrier £90 to take away waste from a job in April 2016, but it was later found fly-tipped in Highwood. He pleaded guilty to one offence of failing to uphold his duty of care and was fined £200 plus costs of £125 and a victim surcharge of £30.
In September 2016, Ms Hart paid an unlicensed carrier £70 to remove rubbish from her property. It was later found dumped in Drakes Lane, Chelmsford. She also pleaded guilty and was fined £400 plus £125 in costs and a £40 victim surcharge.
Councillor Ian Grundy, Cabinet Member for Safer Communities, said, "A great deal of fly-tipping is carried out by unregistered waste carriers, who tell residents that they will take their rubbish to a disposal site and then simply dump it. Paying £70 or £90 to these fraudsters is hardly good value when it can result in hundreds of pounds in penalties. Irresponsible disposal of household waste also comes at a cost to taxpayers - we spend around £1.4 million each year clearing the streets of litter and fly-tips.
In the third case, waste was found fly-tipped on Hollow Lane, Chelmsford, in March 2016. Black bags of household and recyclable waste had been ripped open by wildlife, their contents strewn across a nearby field. Evidence amongst the fly-tipped items led the investigating officer to Mr Popa and the case was subsequently brought to court.
Mr Popa pleaded not guilty, stating during the investigation that he had placed the bags of waste next to his wheeled bin and that these were later fly-tipped by unknown persons. However, on 27 February, the court found Mr Popa guilty and he was fined a total of £688.08.
In Chelmsford, any waste not placed into a black bin is considered side waste and cannot be collected by the Council. Councillor Janette Potter, Cabinet Member for Waste & Recycling, said, "The black bin is only for non-recyclable waste, so it should easily be big enough for two weeks if you recycle properly. Waste that is left outside of the wheeled bin or that bulges out with the lid open is unhygienic, unpleasant for neighbours, attracts wildlife who tear the bags open and makes it difficult for crew to complete collections safely and efficiently. For these reasons, side waste is not encouraged."
If you have a lot of waste, for example after a spring-clean, you can take it to your nearest Recycling Centre for Household Waste. If you need to hire a third party, ask them to provide you with their full address and phone number, check that they have a licence issued by the Environment Agency or Natural Resources Wales, and always get a receipt. You can check the Environment Agency's public register of all licensed waste carriers at https://environment.data.gov.uk.
For help and advice on recycling more, or to order recycling containers, visit www.chelmsford.gov.uk/recycling.