A man who paid a ‘scrap collector’ £20 to remove waste from his property has been fined after it was fly-tipped just 30 metres away.

Garvey Taylor, 51, of Killinghall Row, Middleton St George, appeared before Peterlee Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday (30 January) when he pleaded guilty to a breach of the breaching Environmental Protection Act 1990.

The court heard that ten black bags of waste were found dumped in Killinghall Row on  May 9 last year. When civic enforcement officers from Darlington Borough Council investigated they were traced back to Taylor’s address.

The bags of waste were just 30 metres from Taylor’s address and he was invited for interview.

He told officers he said he had been clearing out his house when a ‘scrap collector’ passed by in a van and offered to take the waste away.

Taylor said he paid them £20 but could not provide any description of the person involved, or of the vehicle in use, other than it was a white van of uncertain make and model.

The court was told this was a breach of the household waste duty of care, which legally requires occupiers of domestic properties to ensure any household waste is only removed by an authorised person.

Taylor was issued with a fixed penalty notice, but when he failed to pay the case was referred to court.

After initially pleading not guilty, the case was adjourned for trial, but he changed his plea to guilty and was fined £135 and ordered to pay £125 costs and a £54 victim surcharge.

Councillor Amanda Riley, Darlington Borough Council’s cabinet member for stronger communities, said: “This is a timely reminder to all householders of their responsibilities when disposing of their waste.

“If you pay someone, other than the council, to take your waste away, you should check they have a waste carrier licence and ask for a waste transfer note. If your waste is fly-tipped you could be fined along with the individual or company you paid to remove it.”

The Environment Agency issues waste carrier licences. You can check if a company has a licence using the online register at https://bit.ly/CheckENV Information on the correct means of disposing of all types of waste can be found on the council’s website www.darlington.gov.uk.

Most household items can be disposed of for free at the tip – for more details visit www.darlington.gov.uk/tip. If you can’t get to the tip you can book a Bulky Waste Collection – for more details visit www.darlington.gov.uk/bulkywaste.

You can report a fly-tip, or anyone you see fly-tipping, online at www.darlington.gov.uk/reportit.