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Resident fined more than £1,300 for running waste company without licence

Date: 16/03/2011           Category: Environmental health

A resident who illegally ran a waste removal company called ‘Hump it and Dump it’ from his semi-detached house has been ordered by a court to pay more than £1,300.

Neighbours complained after Douglas Seal, 41, began using the front of his suburban home in Rainham to store waste, causing an eyesore.

Medway Council’s Environmental Enforcement Officers visited him and found two vehicles at the front of the house storing rubbish, as well as waste strewn down the side of the property.

During the visit in May last year, Seal, of Maidstone Road, said he was in the business of waste removal.

But, after further questioning, he admitted he didn't have a waste carriers licence.

Seal agreed to clear his garden within seven days, and his vehicles in 28 days, and was warned he would be fined and could face prosecution if he transported waste without a licence.

Following a further inspection at his home in June, officers saw that Seal had removed the rubbish from his garden and now had only one vehicle with waste on board.

Seal asked for another 24 hours to deal with the waste from this vehicle, which was agreed.

The officer then made further checks, which revealed that Seal still did not have a licence and had previously been issued with a £300 fixed penalty notice, reduced to £180 if paid within 10 days, for operating without a waste carrier’s licence, which he had paid.

This, combined with the advice given to him in May, meant that he was fully aware of the consequences of his actions.

Later that same day, Seal was observed driving his vehicle full of waste. The officer followed him and asked to speak to him.

When questioned about the waste, Seal said he had a licence and gave a licence number.

However, this turned out to belong to someone else, who confirmed that Seal did not work for him.

A case was prepared against Seal and an examination of the police’s Medway ANPR database (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) showed more than 100 movements of his vehicle between 24 May and 22 June last year.

On many occasions, the vehicle was carrying waste.

Seal was originally summonsed to appear before Medway Magistrate's Court on Monday 7 February, but the case was adjourned until Monday 14 March.

The Court wrote to Seal informing him that if he failed to appear on 14 March, the case would be heard in his absence.

As Mr Seal failed to attend on 14 March, the case was proved in Mr Seal's absence and he was fined £1,000.

He was also ordered to pay £300 costs with a £15 victim surcharge within 28 days.

Cllr Mike O’Brien, the Portfolio Holder for Community Safety and Enforcement, said: “This man seemed to be quite happy to turn his street into an eyesore by dumping waste in and around his home.

“Anyone who runs a waste carrier company must have a proper licence as this is the only way to make sure that they deal with the waste they carry in a sensible and safe way.

“I am sure that the people living in Mr Seal’s street will be pleased that our environmental enforcement team were so persistent and that this action has been taken.

“Anyone who was a problem with illegal waste carriers should contact us on 333333 for advice and to see if we can help.”

To report litter, fly-tipping or any other environmental issue call Medway Council on 01634 333333 or email customer.first@medway.gov.uk. Alternatively fill in the online reporting form at www.medway.gov.uk/environmentandplanning

Residents should note that, if they pay to have waste removed they need to check that whoever is doing this for them holds a waste carrier’s licence.

If the rubbish is fly-tipped the resident also risks being fined.”

Anyone wanting to get rid of waste should check that the company they use has a proper waste carrier licence as they could face prosecution if not.