A man from Pontypool has been handed a nine month suspended jail sentence, a four month curfew and ordered to pay £950, after admitting three instances of fly-tipping in South Gloucestershire.
John Hegarty (28), formerly of Fox Avenue in Yate, pleaded guilty at Bristol Crown Court on 16 July after a lengthy and complex investigation by South Gloucestershire Council’s environmental protection team linked him to fly-tipping at Lodge Road Abson, Ham Lane Doynton and Woodend Lane Rockhampton.
Between August 2017 and November 2018 Hegarty operated a business known as ‘Ever Green Tree & Gardening Services and Rubbish Removal’, attracting work through cold-calling at addresses and hand delivering flyers.
The investigation found that in Hegarty was paid £140 to collect waste from a restaurant that was being refurbished in Calne, Wiltshire August 2017. The waste was later found fly-tipped in Lodge Road, Abson and in Ham Lane, Doynton.
In October 2018, Hegarty was then paid £150 to collect some waste from a householder in Withywood, Bristol which was later found fly-tipped in Woodend Lane, Rockhampton. Hegarty’s identity was confirmed following further enquiries.
He was interviewed under caution in February 2019 at the South Gloucestershire Council Offices in Yate, during which he admitted both fly-tips at Lodge Road and Ham Lane, and the fly tip in Woodend Lane, Rockhampton.
South Gloucestershire Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities, Cllr Rachael Hunt said: “Fly-tipping is completely unacceptable and we will be relentless in our attempts to identify and prosecute individuals who break the law in this manner.
“Our zero-tolerance approach to fly-tipping in South Gloucestershire means that anyone who fly-tips here is up to five times more likely to be prosecuted than anywhere else in the country. We want people to realise that fly-tipping really isn’t worth the risk and to dispose of their waste in a responsible manner.
“I encourage anyone who has information in relation to instances of fly-tipping in South Gloucestershire to get in touch with our Envirocrime team who will investigate the matter further.”
Rather than directly issuing fly-tipping Fixed Penalty Notices, which is one tool that can be used by local authorities in some circumstances to combat fly-tipping, South Gloucestershire Council adopts a different approach to tackle the problem. Our environmental protection team co-ordinates education and enforcement action, gathering evidence to pursue offenders through the courts.
Statistics show that anyone fly-tipping in South Gloucestershire is five times more likely* to be successfully prosecuted than anywhere else in the country and our award winning Envirocrime team have a 100 per cent record of securing successful prosecutions for this type of offence.
Residents and businesses are advised to only give their rubbish to an Environment Agency registered waste carrier.
Contractors should ensure that they hold a Registered Waste Carriers Licence and they comply with the Waste Transfer Note requirements.
You can carry out these simple steps to make sure your waste is disposed of legally:
• Ask for a copy of the company’s waste carrier registration certificate and ask where the waste is being taken. Legitimate firms will be happy to provide this information.
• Do not be tempted to use people offering cheap waste clearance on sites such as Facebook and Gumtree unless you have confirmed that they are registered with the Environment Agency
• Check whether the waste carrier is registered by calling the Environment Agency on 08708 506506 or by checking on their website https://environment.data.gov.uk/public-register/view/search-waste-carriers-brokers
• Ask for a registered trading address and contact telephone number for the trader and get a receipt.
• Unwanted goods and household or garden waste can all be disposed of at no cost via the council’s Sort It centres.
• Residents who see illegal fly-tipping are encouraged to report it by using our web form at www.southglos.gov.uk/flytipping or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or contacting the Street Care helpdesk on 01454 868000.