A man from Severn Beach has been ordered to pay more than £1,500 in fines after South Gloucestershire Council prosecuted him for fly-tipping. James Woods, 27, of Riverside Park in Severn Beach, pleaded guilty to the offence of fly-tipping when he appeared at Bristol Magistrates Court on Monday (October 17).
He was ordered to pay a fine of £615, along with £115 in clear up costs, a further £796 in court costs and a £62 victim surcharge, a total of £1,588. The court heard that on February 11, 2022, South Gloucestershire Council’s Environmental Enforcement officers, checking local known fly-tip locations, discovered a number of black household waste refuse bags deposited at the rear of some shops on Gloucester Road North, Filton.
On inspecting the waste, they recovered a letter relating to an address in Brentry in Bristol. Enquiries conducted at that address eventually led them to James Woods, who at the time of the offence was the owner of The Vape Store on Gloucester Road North, which is located within the rank of shops where the waste had been fly-tipped.
On March 8, the council’s investigating officer visited Woods at his store and he agreed to be interviewed under caution. He admitted the offence but stated that he had only brought one bag of waste to the location, claiming that the waste was from his home address and had been brought to the shop around Christmas 2021.
He claimed his intention had been to put it into the large Biffa bin contracted for the store, but that was full. He stated he contacted Biffa, and on their advice had placed the waste next to the bin.
However, the waste was discovered 18 metres from the bin, and he was unable to explain how it had found its way there, or why there was more than one bag of waste. The council’s subsequent enquiries with Biffa revealed that they received no contact from Woods during December 2021 through to February 2022.
Biffa also confirmed that the advice to leave waste next to the bin would not have been given, as to do so would constitute an offence of fly-tipping. In addition, they said that no domestic waste should be placed in their commercial waste bins as to do so would void any contract.
Councillor Rachael Hunt, cabinet member responsible for environmental enforcement at South Gloucestershire Council, said: “This case is yet more proof of our unrelenting commitment to prosecute fly-tippers and I hope it serves as a deterrent to anyone who considers dumping their waste illegally. This waste could have been disposed of lawfully at one of our Sort It recycling centres, but instead it was left discarded and expected that others would clear it away.
“There is no excuse for fly-tipping, it has a negative impact on our communities and local environment, and we all have a responsibility to make sure that our waste is disposed of in the appropriate manner. We will pursue anyone who dumps their rubbish illegally through the courts and our award-winning environmental enforcement team has a 100 per cent record of securing successful prosecutions for this type of offence.
“Our zero-tolerance approach means that anyone who fly-tips in South Gloucestershire is five times more likely to be prosecuted than anywhere else in the country.”