A South Gloucestershire man has been ordered to pay a total of £2,011 in fines and costs after being prosecuted for fly-tipping and paperwork offences. Jason Edgecombe, of Northcote Road, in Mangotsfield, was found guilty of dumping waste near his home at Bristol Magistrates Court on August 15.
Edgecombe, 41, was advertising a waste collection service called “Westcoast Removals” or “Westcoast Waste Removal” on social media in March 2020, during the first period of Covid-19 lockdown. This was despite having no registered waste carrier licence and no waste transfer notes for loads he collected.
Some of this controlled waste was then found dumped in a communal area at the rear of Northcote Road, Mangotsfield, by South Gloucestershire Council environmental enforcement officers. When interviewed, Edgecombe claimed he was assisting a friend who must have fly-tipped the waste.
But magistrates were convinced that it was the defendant who communicated with customers and received payment from them, before collecting waste without the appropriate paperwork. They fined him £484 and ordered him to pay a £48 victims surcharge and £1,479 in costs, for a total of £2,011.
Cllr Rachael Hunt, cabinet member responsible for environmental enforcement at South Gloucestershire Council, said: “This case saw waste collected without the correct legal paperwork from across South Gloucestershire and then fly-tipped without any consideration of the impact it would have on residents or the environment.
“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. Our award-winning environmental enforcement team has a 100 percent record of securing successful prosecutions for this type of offence and if you fail in your duty of care and allow rubbish to be fly-tipped here, you can expect to be caught and brought before the courts.”
She added: “We all have a responsibility to dispose of our waste in a responsible and lawful manner. If you hire a company to dispose of your waste, always ask for a copy of the company’s waste carrier registration certificate and ask where the waste is being taken. Failing to carry out these simple checks could mean you are found liable and face a considerable fine if the waste is illegally deposited.”
The local authority manages Sort It recycling centres where unwanted goods, household waste and garden waste can all be disposed of at no cost. Anyone witnessing fly-tipping is encouraged to report it by calling the council’s StreetCare helpdesk on 01454 868000, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.