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£3,600 fine for engine oil dumped beside the road

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Filmed by a fly-tipping surveillance camera: The men dumping the containers.

On Wednesday 4th January 2017 a car dealership from Wexham, Buckinghamshire pleaded guilty at High Wycombe Magistrates Court to a fly-tipping offence relating to dumped engine oil.

The court heard that on Tuesday 24 May 2016 a car belonging to the car dealership was filmed by a fly-tipping surveillance camera as the driver and passenger deposited two blue containers at the roadside off Love Hill Lane, Wexham, near Langley, Slough.

The two 40 litre containers were found to hold waste engine oil. However before specialist removal could take place arsonists set fire to one of the containers causing it to melt and spill oil across the road. Extensive clean-up work was then required.

The scene after the arson had taken place.

The vehicle filmed by the fly-tipping surveillance camera was traced through its registration number to a car dealership in Wexham, Buckinghamshire. When interviewed at a police station a director of the company admitted that the firm owned the vehicle but denied knowledge of the fly-tipping.

He said he had sent a temporary employee to take waste – which did not include engine oil – to an appropriate site using the vehicle. He said he did not know or recognise the second man and confirmed that the temporary employee had left the company’s employment. Despite investigation, it proved impossible to trace either of the men.

The Magistrates fined the car dealership £2,000 and ordered clean-up and prosecution costs to be paid in the sum of £1,421.80. A victim surcharge of £200 was also levied making a total to pay of £3,621.80.

Chairman of the Waste Partnership for Buckinghamshire Sir Beville Stanier said: ‘This case shows the environmental consequence of fly-tipping… not only were the waste oil containers dumped in a beauty spot, but their presence triggered an act of arson that made the environmental damage considerably worse.

It is surprising that the company authorised use of their vehicle by two such irresponsible men with such flimsy ties to the business.  The court viewed the matter as a serious environmental crime – and fined the company accordingly.

The case was prosecuted by Buckinghamshire County Council working on behalf of the Waste Partnership for Buckinghamshire.

Since the Waste Partnership for Buckinghamshire launched the ‘Illegal Dumping Costs‘ campaign in November 2003 the Partnership has secured 570 convictions against individuals and companies for illegal dumping and related offences. On average, since April 2010 there has been at least one conviction per week for illegal dumping offences in Buckinghamshire. This has resulted in a halving of reported incidents and a significant saving to the Buckinghamshire tax payer over the period, principally through reducing removal and disposal costs.

If anyone person sees waste being dumped illegally in Buckinghamshire they can report in online on the Buckinghamshire County Council website or via the telephone hotline on 0845 330 1856.

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