A Sunderland van driver has been fined for fly-tipping.

The driver was spotted dumping items – including a pool table, a sofa, carpets and mattresses – at the back of The Green in Southwick. A member of the public telephoned the council to report that waste was being dumped from a white transit van. 

When challenged by enforcement officers, the driver initially denied having any connection to the waste. He then claimed he had only left it there temporarily and would remove it later.

The officers went back later that day and found the waste had been removed. However, because the driver was unable to produce the necessary paperwork relating to the disposal of the items, he received a fine of £300. He was fined an additional £300 for failing to provide a copy of his licence to carry waste.

photo courtesy of Simon Lee, from Flickr Creative Commons
128 environmental fines have been imposed in Sunderland since February (photo courtesy of Simon Lee, from Flickr Creative Commons)

Sunderland City Council’s portfolio holder for civic services, Cllr Michael Mordey, said, “I hope this sends out a strong warning to any van drivers tempted to go down a similar route.” 

“Very often waste collected by unlicensed waste carriers ends up being fly-tipped around the city, causing a blight in our communities. We are not prepared to tolerate this type of behaviour. We can and will clamp down on any unlicensed waste disposal companies we find dumping waste illegally.”

“I would also urge anyone with large items they need to get rid of to make sure that they use a licensed waste contractor or the council’s bulky waste service, which costs £17.50 for up to 8 items.”

“If you do use a private contractor, you need to make sure that they are legitimate and that they have a waste carrier’s licence, because if the person you use then fly-tips the waste you could be the one who has to pay the costs of having it cleaned up.”

If you see anybody fly-tipping or dropping litter, you can report it anonymously at www.sunderland.gov.uk/article/12416/Report-fly-tipping.

Sunderland City Council’s Environmental Enforcement Policy was launched last February. Since then, the council’s Environmental Enforcement Team has investigated 4168 environmental crimes across the city, such as littering, dog fouling and fly-tipping.

This has led to the issuing of 450 formal warnings and 128 fines being imposed for waste offences.    

(The featured image shows rubbish dumped behind The Green in Southwick)

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