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Prosecution for illegal waste carrier

Published Wednesday 1 March, 2023
Last updated on Thursday 22 February, 2024

A man caught illegally transporting waste is almost £1,000 out of pocket after being prosecuted by Swale Borough Council.

Joseph Lee, from Sittingbourne, was stopped by council officers in March 2022 on Swanstree Avenue when it was discovered he was transporting waste without a waste carriers’ authority to do so. He was also unable to produce waste transfer notes to cover the scrap metal items he was carrying at the time.

Mr Lee was issued with two fixed penalty notices for these offences, which he failed to pay, so the council proceeded to take the case to court.

He was summoned to appear before Medway Magistrates’ Court in January 2023. At the hearing he told the court that he had sold the vehicle before the offences were committed, and that an unknown person was now using his old vehicle and impersonating him.

The matter was adjourned to look into this, and the council was able to use body warn camera footage to show that the offences were committed by Mr Lee.

The case was rescheduled at Sevenoaks Magistrates Court on 22 February where Mr Lee pleaded guilty to two waste offences. Magistrates fined him £300 for each offence with £60 victim surcharge as well as £330 costs – a total of £990.

Cllr Julian Saunders, chair of the council’s environment committee, said:

“Our officers work hard to clean up the mess illegal waste carriers leave, but they also put in a considerable mount of effort to prevent waste being dumped in the first place.

“It is a legal requirement for waste carriers to have the appropriate licence and waste transfer notes to identify the waste, without these, there is no way to prove that all  the waste originally collected has been disposed of properly. Some of the less valuable waste can end up being dumped along our roads and countryside.

“Tackling illegal waste carriers is an important part of our fight against fly-tipping, but we also need to remind anyone who is having their waste removed that they have a legal duty to make sure they are using responsible companies who provide the correct paperwork.”

To check if someone is a licenced waste carrier visit www.environment.data.gov.uk/public-register/view/search-waste-carriers-brokers.

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