Don’t pay cash to remove your trash, council urges
Buckinghamshire Council is renewing its call for residents not to pay in cash when employing someone to take away their waste.
However big or small the amount, if dumped illegally, the original owner of the waste can be liable for prosecution.
Gareth Williams, Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Environment, explained: “We know that generally, most people who pay someone to take away their waste, do so in good faith, trusting that the person they pay will dispose of it responsibly. They may be tempted to pay cash as a cheaper option but sadly, speaking from experience, we know that it is statistically more likely to be dumped illegally and the fly-tipper is less likely to be caught without any electric or paper trail available, proving their involvement. In these cases, if the waste can be traced back to the original homeowner, they are then liable for the offence and can be prosecuted.”
One homeowner from neighbouring Slough found this out the hard way when the waste they paid someone to take away was dumped illegally in Bucks. Charlene Torr of Vaughan Way, Slough, appeared in front of magistrates in High Wycombe earlier this month, charged with failing in her duty of care in relation to the illegal dumping of waste.
On Tuesday 7 February, the court heard how Ms Torr admitted paying an unknown male to take waste from the front of her property. The waste was later found dumped in Harehatch Lane in Farnham Common in July 2021. Buckinghamshire Council enforcement officers were able to trace the waste back to Ms Torr and when interviewed she admitted responsibility. The council issued her with a fixed penalty notice for £400.
Gareth said: “There is no running away from a crime like fly-tipping and the likelihood is this case could have had a very different outcome had the homeowner not paid cash. This is why we urge anyone who needs to get rid of waste, please never pay cash, always pay electronically as it is more likely that the people taking it away will dispose of it legally.”
To report fly-tipping anywhere in Buckinghamshire visit: www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/fix-my-street