On Wednesday 20th July 2016 Geoffrey John Barlow, aged 62, of Malvern Avenue, Harrow, pleaded guilty at Wycombe Magistrates Court to an offence of failing in his duty of care as a householder regarding waste which was later found dumped illegally.
The court heard that on Friday 12th February 2016 investigators from the Waste Partnership for Buckinghamshire found waste dumped completely blocking Shire Lane, Chalfont St Peter, Bucks.
The waste was photographed and examined for evidence of where it came from. Details found within the dumped waste led the investigators to speak to Mr Barlow.
When interviewed at a police station, Mr Barlow denied dumping the waste. He confirmed that part of the dumped material was his own household waste which he said had been carried away by a ‘man with a van’ type. He said he had paid the man to remove and dispose of waste which had been temporarily stored outside his house. He admitted that he made no checks to see if the man was authorised to remove the waste. He had no information as to the man’s identify and took no action to deter the waste carrier from dumping the waste illegally.
The Magistrates fined Mr Barlow £1,775 and ordered clean-up and prosecution costs to be paid in the sum of £425. A victim surcharge of £170 was also levied making a total to pay of £2,370.
Cllr Mike Smith, Chairman of the Joint Waste Partnership for Buckinghamshire, said: ‘Occasionally we encounter truly despicable, dangerous dumping like this. The point here is that Mr Barlow could have helped prevent the waste from being dumped illegally if he had properly checked out the waste carrier’s credentials. If the waste carrier had known that Mr Barlow could identify him it is much less likely that the waste would have been fly-tipped. We are all responsible for what happens to our waste – if you make no checks on the waste carrier then anything can happen to the rubbish and you may well be held responsible if it is found illegally dumped.‘
The case was prosecuted by Buckinghamshire County Council working on behalf of the Waste Partnership for Buckinghamshire. The Waste Partnership launched the ‘Illegal Dumping Costs’ campaign in November 2003 to combat illegal dumping and waste management offences in Buckinghamshire. Since that date the Partnership has secured 532 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.