Council’s crackdown on fly tipping

Neath Port Talbot Council’s hard line approach to flytipping is paying dividends, with the Authority successfully prosecuting more people for the offence than any other Council in Wales.

Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) data has revealed that during 2008/09 in Wales a total 72 successful prosecutions were undertaken, with Neath Port Talbot Council responsible for 30.

The Authority is on target to double that figure. Since April of this year 31 more people have been prosecuted by the Council and fined a total of £6028 with costs of almost £5150.

Council leader Ali Thomas said the Authority forms part of the Flytipping Action Wales partnership which tackles the illegal dumping of waste.

“Flytipping has a detrimental effect on our environment and costs the tax payers almost £3m each year,” he said. “The Council has a zero-tolerance policy on flytipping and will use the full force of the law to bring people guilty of the offence to justice.

“Our waste enforcement team are doing an excellent job and I would like to commend them for their efforts to ensure that Neath Port Talbot is a clean and welcoming borough for residents and visitors.”

A Swansea Valley plumbing and heating engineer became the 31st person to be prosecuted by the Council since April.

David John Jones of Heol Twrch, Lower Cwmtwrch, Ystradgynlais, who trades under Dave Jones Plumbing and Heating, was fined £2,000 with costs of £262.67 and a £15 victim surcharge after pleading guilty to two flytipping offences at Neath Magistrates Court. He also pleaded guilty to two offences of transporting waste without a waste carriers licence.

Prosecutor Mike Shaw told justices that on July 9, Council Waste Enforcement officer Tim White received a complaint of flytipping at the Patches, Ystalyfera.

He said: “The Patches is a secluded place, away from public scrutiny and is unfortunately, vulnerable to flytipping.”
The court was told that Mr White visited the site that day and found an old bathroom tiles in plastic sacks, and old bath, bathroom units and a carpet. He also found bathroom related items, boxes and off cuts of new tiles.

Mr Whites’ enquiries led him to Mr Jones, who was subsequently made a full admission during an interview by the Council on August 19.

Mr Shaw told Magistrates: “He told the Council that he had undertaken a bathroom installation for a client. The cost of the installation was £2,100 and his estimate clearly provided for the costs of removing and disposal of the resulting waste.

“This matter was aggravated by Mr Jones not dumping once but on two occasions and charging his client for a disposal service he did not provide legitimately. He was, however, cooperative with the local authority in their investigations and subsequent interview.”

In mitigation, Mr Jones’ defence solicitor Angharad Lloyd indicated that her client went back to the site and cleared the waste at his own expense and other items which were not his responsibility. He did not have any previous convictions and he had made a bad decision to dump the materials.

Councillor Thomas said waste enforcement officers will continue to patrol flytipping hotspots and act immediately on any calls from the public.

“We are working together with our partners to catch flytippers and inform the public of their legal duty to ensure waste is disposed of responsibly,” he said. “We do not under estimate the scale of the problem and the difficult task we have to tackle it.

“Together we can clean up our communities and help make Wales free from flytipping.”