A pair of tradesmen who disposed of building waste ‘on the cheap’ have been ordered to pay a total of £2,784 in fines, costs and victim surcharges after it was later found dumped near a South Northamptonshire beauty spot.
At Northampton Magistrates’ Court on February 28, 23-year-old Jack Groom of Alchester Court, Towcester and 38-year-old Adam Mclellan of Moss Close, Towcester admitted they had failed in their duty of care to dispose of waste lawfully following their work on a property in Blakesley.
Groom was fined £500 and ordered to pay a total of £457.06 in costs and a £50 victim surcharge, while Mclellan was fined £1,200, was also ordered to costs of £457.06 and a £120 victim surcharge.
Hulcote, on the outskirts of Towcester, is one of the district’s most unspoilt rural communities, but on February 22 2016 a local resident phoned South Northamptonshire Council to report an illegal fly-tip.
Upon inspection the waste was found to contain items identifying the address in Blakesley and Mclellan’s business address.
During investigation interviews with the council officers, the pair explained that Mclellan had paid Groom to dispose of the waste which included an electrical appliance, cardboard and general builders waste.
On the final day of the work, as Groom was preparing to clear the site and dispose of the waste, he was approached by an unknown male driving a white van who offered to dispose of the waste.
The two men made a verbal agreement and Groom paid the stranger around £40.
At no time when responsibility for the waste was transferred from Mclellan to Groom, and from him to the stranger, was a record kept or checks made to ensure the proper waste transfer licences were in place.
Councillor Dermot Bambridge, the council’s portfolio holder for environmental services said: “Anyone asked to dispose of waste has a responsibility to ensure it is done so lawfully.
“Allowing waste to be dumped in the countryside is not the action of someone behaving responsibly. I hope this sends a message to everyone, that if you ignore your duty of care and dispose of waste illegally in South Northants the council may prosecute, and you will face the prospect of a fine for which there is no limit.”