Court penalty for waste carrier over dumped loads at beauty spot
An estimated 25 loads of waste dumped at a Buckinghamshire beauty spot put waste carrier Dennis Proctor (29) in the dock at Wycombe Magistrates Court on Wednesday (5 August).
Investigators from the Waste Partnership for Buckinghamshire were called to Colne Valley Regional Park, at Denham, on 16 December 2019, where they found the flytipped detritus next to the lake.
In a thorough search of between 20 and 25 dumped loads they found evidence of its source: a cafe in Wandsworth that had just undergone refurbishment. An interview with the cafe owner soon pointed the finger at Mr Proctor, of St Charles Square, London.
He admitted failing in his commercial duty of care with the waste he carried and which was found dumped illegally beside the lake. Magistrates fined him £430, ordered him to pay clean-up charges, investigation and legal fees of £1,099.46, along with a victim surcharge of £43 – a total penalty of £1,572.46.
Mr Proctor said he was a professional waste carrier and had carried waste away from the café in two parts, one of which he disposed of lawfully.
But he gave the second lot, which included food waste, to another carrier, whom he wouldn’t identify for fear of reprisals.
Investigators returned to the lakeside and found food waste just as Mr Proctor had described. They also checked automatic number plate readings for his vehicle, which showed he had not driven to the dump site.
As he was unwilling to help identify the carrier who dumped the second lot of waste, Mr Proctor shouldered the blame and was prosecuted for his failure in duty of care, which required him to take reasonable measures to avoid the waste being fly-tipped by a third party and which he had not done.
The cafe owner was cautioned as he was unable to prove he had fully complied with his own duty of care..
The lakeside at which Mr Proctor’s waste was found dumped is part of a wider investigation in partnership with the Environment Agency to root out other suspected dumpers.
Bill Chapple OBE, Buckinghamshire Council Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change, said: “Waste crime costs us all a huge amount in environmental damage and in clean-up costs. Let this case be a lesson for anyone who doesn’t check their waste carrier’s licence. We have very determined investigators who are thorough in finding evidence to identify flytippers.
“The best protection against the criminals is not to pay cash but insist on an online payment, which is traceable.”
Mr Proctor’s case was brought by Buckinghamshire Council, one of the first for the new unitary authority. It has succeeded the Waste Partnership for Buckinghamshire, which . prosecuted a total of 756 cases costing offenders a total of £1,093,817.