Environmental officers at Boston Borough Council have vowed to use every power at their disposal to deal with fly-tippers after covert cameras saw four people summoned to court recently.
In each of the cases, the defendants were said to have been caught at a known hotspot ‘Struggs Hill Lay-by’ between Kirton and Sutterton, which in the year from April 2016-March 2017 saw 53 reported fly-tips.
Andrew Goldsborough, prosecuting for Boston Borough Council told The Court that the borough as a whole saw 1,278 fly-tips reported, a potential clean-up cost of approximately £100,000.
Two of the defendants appeared on Monday.
Andrew Horry, 48, of Church Green Road, Fishtoft, was fined £166 and ordered to pay £300 costs and £30 victim surcharge after he left three bags of garden waste next to the bins in the lay-by.
Presiding magistrate Jenny Frere-Cook told him: “Although this was only a few small bags, it’s still fly-tipping, which we take very seriously in this country.”
Mark Milward, of Primitive Gait, Gosberton Clough, was fined £92, and ordered to pay £300 costs and £30 victim sucharge, after leaving two bags next to a bin after cleaning his work van out in the lay-by.
Betty Holmes, 76, of Lee Avenue, Algarkirk, surrendered to a warrant issued for her arrest by Boston magistrates on Monday and appeared before magistrates in Lincoln on Thursday.
She pleaded guilty to ten charges, eight relating to fly-tipping between March 10 and 27, 2017, in the lay-by. The court was shown still images of footage taken from a hidden camera which had been placed in the lay-by on the B1397 Struggs Hill.
She also admitted two more charges of failure to contact Boston Borough Council for the purposes of an interview under s.108 Environment Act 1995 and the last charge related to her failure to provide information as to when her car was sold and to whom.
A vehicle had been seen on eight occasions entering the lay-by, a female had got out of the vehicle and disposed of suspected commercial waste by placing it on the ground, next to a refuse bin, or within the bin. Commercial waste should not disposed of in a public lay-by.
The court was told that under s.33(5) Environmental Protection Act 1990, Holmes was deemed to have caused the waste to be deposited, even though she may not have done the act herself. She was registered owner of the vehicle and had control over its use, she had failed to ask others what they were doing with waste.
She was given a £250 fine and ordered to the full costs of £1392.72 to the council for failing to communicate or engage with it. The council had incurred costs investigating because of her failure to contact it.
The court heard that the vehicle used had subsequently been sold.
The second defendant who had failed to turn up on Monday, Donatas Gudas, 34, of Station Road, Kirton, also appeared on Thursday after he had been arrested.
He admitted fly-tipping at the same location on March 19, 2017.
An image from the camera showed him drive his Audi into the lay-by, take a box and two black plastic crates from the boot of his car and place them on the ground next to a refuse bin.
The court heard he had taken the rubbish from his home address and placed it next to the bin in the lay-by as his bin was full. He thought someone else would come and clear the rubbish and that he was not aware of where the local tip was. The court was told that the waste recycling centre in Boston was just 3.7 miles from his door.
The court said it had been a deliberate act, Mr Gudas had been lazy not taking the rubbish to the tip and was content for others to remove the rubbish and the public to pay for this.
He was fined £400 and ordered his to pay the costs of £578.70 and a victim surcharge of £40. The court also informed Mr Gudas that he could face losing his vehicle and/or his driving licence if he committed a similar offence again.
Following the cases Jen Moore, the council’s environment and sustainability officer, said the borough had a ‘significant problem’ with fly-tipping.
“This year fly-tipping has increased by eight per cent, and as far as I’m concerned being able to do this [take people to court using covert surveillance] shows that we are quite serious about tackling the problem.
The council must request permission to use covert and overt cameras through the use of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA).
“There are hotspots all over the borough, but we chose that site because there was a number of fairly large scale fly-tips.”
She said that the council would now be considering other sites to place both overt and covert cameras to tackle the problem.
She reminded people that they can take waste to the town’s waste recycling centre which is open 9am-4pm every day. The council also operates a bulky waste collection service and an assisted service for those who find it difficult to take bins out such as the elderly or disabled.
For more information call the council offices on 01205 314200.