On the spot fines issued to unscrupulous waste dumpers, landowner fined for letting dangerous waste build up near nursery

Leeds, Leeds Star
People who dump waste in Leeds are being warned they could be hit with an on-the-spot £300 fine.

Using powers from government legislation which came into force last year, Leeds City Council has been taking on-the-spot action against people who dump waste illegally.

The new powers came into force in November 2016 and provide an additional and quicker way of taking action against those found to have dumped their waste illegally. Offenders can be served with a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) of £300, reduced to £200 if the fine is paid within the first 10 days.

Images are attached of examples of waste-dumps in the Leeds area for which fixed penalty notices have been issued and paid in recent months:

1. Help from local residents and evidence gathered helped the council issue a fixed penalty notice for this dumping of household furniture and items from a nearby property into the local park;

2. Fridge fly-tipped onto path;

3. Household items dumped into a back street;

4. Sofa fly-tipped on Elmete Lane;

5. Sofas dumped onto a back street;

6. Waste found tipped at the side of a main road.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council’s executive member for environment and sustainability, said:

“We simply do not tolerate any form of fly-tipping in our city, and will always take action against anyone who is found to be involved in this type of activity which blights our communities.

“These examples (images attached) include cases where fed up residents have provided us with evidence and witness statements. The council will continue to investigate every case of fly-tipping where evidence can be found or provided, and won’t hesitate to issue a Fixed Penalty Notice or prosecute through the courts. There is never any excuse for fly-tipping; whether it’s by a resident, landlord or trade.

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

The new FPN is helping to reduce the number of lower-level fly-tipping cases that the council pursues through the court system and in doing so also save the council money on administrative and legal work.

However the council is still prosecuting more serious or larger offences through the courts, which can see an offender face a maximum prison sentence of five years and/or an unlimited fine if the issue appears before the crown court.

A range of organisations across Leeds will collect and re-use good quality furniture which is no longer needed. Items can also be donated for re-use at the council’s recycling centres or Revive, at the east Leeds recycling centre.

A landowner who let dangerous waste, including hypodermic needles and human waste build up near a children’s nursery, has been fined over £5000 after a successful prosecution by Leeds City Council.

Pargat Singh Riyat of Shadwell Lane, Leeds pleaded guilty to offences under Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014 and was fined £1666, plus £3219 costs and a victim surcharge of £166 at Leeds Magistrates’ Court last week. The court heard that he failed to prevent unauthorised access to land which he was responsible for, which resulted in the build-up of hazardous waste as well as failing to organise the legal removal of the waste.

Mr Riyat is part owner Courtyard Developments Ltd, the company which owns land formally known as the Compton Arms on Compton Road in Harehills. Following contact by a local Police Community Support Officer regarding numerous environmental and anti-social issues at the site, the council’s environmental enforcement team started an investigation. The issues raised by the PCSO included a breach in the perimeter fence which was allowing unauthorised access to the land, as well as a large accumulation of waste including hypodermic needles, human excrement, alcohol containers and other drug paraphernalia. Some needles were close to the perimeter fence which separates the land from a local children’s nursery.

The court heard that Mr Riyat ignored several legal notices requiring him to arrange for the waste to be legally removed and to install a suitable security fence, thus allowing unauthorised access and offering the opportunity for more hazardous waste to be dumped. Even after being served with the notices, the court heard the Mr Riyat attempted to circumvent his duties by renting out the land to a third party and ordering the tenant to remove the waste themselves without advising the tenant of the type of waste within it or ensuring that they knew how to dispose of the waste legally.

Such was the danger caused by the waste Leeds City Council cleared the land of all waste, including seven boxes of hypodermic needles along with other drug paraphernalia, removing approximately four tonnes of illegally deposited waste from the site, which cost over £480 of tax-payers’ money.

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

“This is a particularly shocking case where landowner has shown a flagrant disregard, not only to the legal notices issued but also towards his own duty of care, and in doing so has put members of the public at risk. To add insult to injury he also tried to circumvent his legal responsibility by renting out the contaminated land to an unsuspecting tenant.

“We will not hesitate to prosecute landowners who allow, or do not take action to prevent, waste being dumped on their property especially when they are putting members of the public at risk of serious harm.”

The council is using legislation contained in the Unauthorised Deposit of Waste Regulations 2016, contained in Part 2 of the Environmental Protection Action, 1990.