Man with a van picks up hefty fine for dumping waste

Leeds, Leeds Star

A Leeds man who advertises ‘Man with a Van’ services on social media has been fined over £1700 for illegally dumping waste on a country lane, which he had been paid to dispose of.

Christopher Brennan of Eastwood Drive, Swarcliffe, Leeds was fined £692 for illegally depositing waste for profit, and carrying waste illegally. He was also ordered to pay a £69 victim surcharge and £975 costs after pleading guilty at a hearing at Leeds magistrates on Friday 17 February.

Following an investigation by Leeds City Council environmental enforcement officers Mr Brennan was found to be responsible for a large amount of fly tipped waste on a narrow country lane in Shadwell. The waste, which was blocking access along the road consisted of household items including bin bags, plastic tubs, a pushchair and play pen and sofa or chair cushions.

As part of the investigation the waste was traced back to its original owners who were able to provide proof that they had paid Mr Brennan to collect and dispose of it.

The enforcement officers discovered that Mr Brennan advertises his services on Facebook as a ‘Man with a Van’, listing house clearance, full house removals, garage clearance, skip runs, pick-ups and collection of large items, painting and decorating, handyman services, gardening and anything considered. However it was revealed that Mr Brennan does not hold a waste carriers license which is a legal requirement for businesses offering waste collection services.

The Control of Pollution (Amendment) Act 1989, section 1 makes it an offence for any person who is not a registered carrier of controlled waste, in the course of any business of his or otherwise with a view to profit, to transport any controlled waste to or from any place in Great Britain.

As part of his defence Mr Brennan told the court that he did try to dispose of the waste at the council’s household waste site but was turned away as he did not have a resident’s permit. However the household waste site at Seacroft does accept commercial waste – as long as it is declared as such, weighed, and the disposal is paid for accordingly.

Section 33 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 makes it an offence for a person to deposit controlled waste, or knowingly cause or knowingly permit controlled waste to be deposited in or on any land unless an environmental permit authorising the deposit is in force and the deposit is in accordance with the license.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, executive member for environment and sustainability, said:

“It is thought that much of the waste fly tipped in Leeds and around the country is from individuals offering to remove waste from residents and businesses at a cheap rate who then fly tip the waste illegally to avoid paying for disposal costs, undercutting legitimate waste removal and disposal companies. This has a significant impact on residents and communities, and costs the council – and therefore the tax payer – millions of pounds a year.

“So we are urging people to make sure they check that people who offer to dispose of your waste, has the correct licences to do so.

“And to those people who are unscrupulous enough to try to transport and dispose of waste illegally then we won’t hesitate to take action against you.”

A range of organisations across Leeds can collect and re-use good quality furniture you no longer want. Items can also be donated for re-use at the council’s recycling centres or Revive, at the east Leeds recycling centre. The council also offers a bulky waste service. For more information see http://www.leeds.gov.uk/residents/Pages/Bulky-item-collection-service.aspx.

Unlicensed carriers face a £5,000 fine. Householders who fail to check and whose waste is then dumped by an unlicensed carrier could also face a £5,000 fine.