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Facebook 'tip run' fly-tipper convicted

Published 16 January 2020
Facebook ‘tip run' fly-tipper convicted

A Calne resident, who operated a 'tip run' waste clearance service on Facebook selling sites across Wiltshire, has been successfully prosecuted by Wiltshire Council.

On Monday 2 December 2019, Mr Ryan Clegg of Whittle Avenue, Calne, pleaded guilty at Salisbury Magistrates to two counts of fly-tipping waste, one count of failing in his duty of care when managing controlled waste, and one count of transporting controlled waste without a waste carriers' licence.

Wiltshire Council presented evidence to the court that showed Mr Clegg was paid £20 to collect a large quantity of waste as a result of the 'cheap tip run' adverts. However, instead of lawfully disposing the waste at a commercial waste tip, Mr Clegg transported and fly-tipped it across two sites near Calne.

The magistrates ordered Mr Clegg to pay fines and costs totalling £3,275 and he was given 140 hours community work, which could include litter picking and clearing waste. 

Mr Clegg failed to attend his first hearing at Swindon Magistrates on 17 September 2019, which resulted in him being arrested by Wiltshire Police. He was then brought before Swindon Magistrates on 9 November and released on bail, until his court hearing in Salisbury Magistrates on 2 December 2019.

Councillor Bridget Wayman, Cabinet Member for Highways, Transport and Waste said, "This prosecution highlights the growing problem of 'tip run' operators advertising on social media, then fly-tipping the waste. The severity of the punishment shows how seriously the courts take this issue. Hopefully the Community Order will include litter picking and waste clearance.

"We strongly advise against using 'man with a van' rubbish clearance services without fully checking they are licensed to take waste away, and noting down their waste carriers license number and other details. If someone offers to take your waste away cheaply, it will probably end up being fly-tipped in our beautiful countryside. You may also find yourself with a £200 fixed penalty notice and a bill for the clear-up costs."

Anyone caught fly-tipping could be ordered to pay a £400 fixed penalty notice to taken to court where they face an unlimited fine or imprisonment.

The council advises residents not to touch or go through fly-tipping themselves, but to report it directly using Wiltshire Council's online reporting tool My Wilts online reporting.

If the information residents report leads to the successful prosecution of an offender or the payment of a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN), they could earn a reward of up to £200 in high street vouchers.

The severity of the punishment shows how seriously the courts take this issue. Hopefully the Community Order will include litter picking and waste clearance

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