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Fly-tipper prosecuted and ordered pay to over £5,000

Chelmsford Magistrate's Court

A professional waste carrier who illegally dumped waste on Back Lane in East Hanningfield has been prosecuted and ordered to pay £5,020 in costs and fines.

The fly-tipping incident took place in April 2018 and, after long delays with court proceedings, Mr Michael Bussey, of Rettendon-based Jack’s Grab Hire Limited, was tried at Chelmsford Magistrate’s Court earlier this year. A licensed waste carrier, Mr Bussey was found guilty of failing to uphold his duty under Section 34 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

Evidence found amongst dumped waste

Council community protection officers were alerted to the incident when drivers reported that waste was blocking vehicle access to Back Lane. They attended the scene and found a large amount of car parts and scrap metal piled in the road.

Among the waste was a branded invoice. Officers spoke to the named company’s director, who was able to provide the required documentation (Waste Transfer Note) showing they had legally transferred the waste to a licensed vendor. This paperwork led officers to Mr Bussey, who had collected, and subsequently dumped, the waste.

Back Lane
The waste fly-tipped at Back Lane in Rettendon.

Clearing the waste incurred costs of £1,444. Mr Bussey was ordered to repay this to the council, as well as repaying investigation and legal costs, along with a fine of £1,500. He was given two years to pay the total amount of £5,020. If costs go unpaid he will be required to serve a prison sentence of 45 days.

At the trial, the Judge noted during sentencing:

“Having collected this load of car parts and scrap contaminated with various fuels and lubricants, you were responsible for the dumping. In so doing, as the photographs demonstrate, you left a hazard to the environment and to the health of the environment.

“[The prosecution argues] that you also left a physical danger to road users, [in photographs] the entire road appeared to be blocked… This was a deliberate dumping of waste material and flouting of the regulations.”

Councillor Rose Moore, Cabinet Member for a Greener and Safer Chelmsford, says others should take heed of this outcome:

“Prosecuting fly-tipping offences can be very difficult, as uncovering undisputable evidence like this is rare. To combat this, Chelmsford City Council’s public protection team have increased officer patrols and authorised stop and searches. With this approach – a focus on catching fly-tippers in action – we have seen an increased number of prosecutable cases.

“As well as causing a hazard to road users, incidents like these cause harm to our environment. It is vital that fly-tipping, and littering of all kinds, is taken seriously and that we all understand the consequences of our actions.”

Councillor Rose Moore, Cabinet Member for a Greener and Safer Chelmsford, Chelmsford City Council

What the council do to stop fly tipping

In 2023, 804 fly-tipping incidents were investigated by Chelmsford City Council, leading to five waste-related prosecutions. In the same year, officers issued two fly-tipping fixed penalty notices (FPNs), four household waste duty of care FPNs and 27 littering FPNs.

In order to deter fly-tipping, the council’s public protection team have increased their regular patrols and partnered with the Essex Police rural engagement team to carry out stop checks. Stop checks involve searching vehicles suspected to be carrying waste, to ensure drivers have the correct documentation.

Public Protection Waste Carrier Stop Checks
Community protection officers complete stop and searches on suspected waste carriers.

The national maximum amount for on-the-spot fines for litter, graffiti and fly-tipping rose in July 2023, meaning council officers can now issue FPNs of up to £1,000 for fly-tipping – a £600 increase on the previous limit. Fines of up to £500 can be issued for littering and graffiti, and incorrect disposal of household waste can result in a fine of up to £600.

What you can do to stop fly-tipping

You are responsible for ensuring that any waste you have taken away by a third party is disposed of legally. This applies to any waste removal, for example, if you are having construction work carried out on your home and workers remove waste as part of that work, you must ensure they are registered to do so.

Construction Work Waste Disposal
Always ensure any waste is disposed of legally.

Anyone transferring waste for you should provide a Waste Transfer Note. If they don’t, you can access a blank form online and ask them to complete it.

It is advisable to ask the waste carrier to provide their full address and telephone number and ask to see their waste carrier licence (issued by the Environment Agency).

You can contact the Environment Agency directly on 08708 506 506 to ask for a free instant Waste Carrier Validation Check or check online via the Environment Agency website.

If you are unsure of how to dispose of your household waste, there is guidance available online.

To report an incident of fly-tipping, please contact our community protection team.

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Molly Smith
Molly Smith

Molly writes stories about public health, community safety, leisure, community sport, parking and Chelmsford Market.