Householders in East Suffolk are being reminded of their legal responsibility when disposing of their household waste, after a Suffolk resident was fined over £1,200.
At a hearing at Ipswich Magistrates' Court on Wednesday 18 August, Kelly Holmes from Ipswich was charged with failing to fulfil her ‘duty of care’ towards household waste contrary to Section 34(2A) and (6) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
On 17 March 2020, the Council’s Customer Services Team received a report of three black bags of waste which had been left on the verge in Monument Farm Lane, Foxhall. During a site visit the next day, officers from East Suffolk Norse found that the bags contained household waste, including paperwork addressed to Miss Holmes. When contacted, Miss Holmes stated that the waste was removed from her home address by a third party, along with some scrap items. Miss Holmes was given six weeks to provide details of this person however she did not respond and on 15 May 2020, she was issued with an £200 Fixed Penalty Notice, reduced to £120 if paid within 10 days. Miss Holmes failed to pay this notice, despite reminders being sent.
Miss Holmes did not attend her court hearing, having written to the court asking for the case to be heard in her absence. The court found Miss Holmes guilty of breaching Section 34(2A) and (6) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and fined her £200 for the offence, plus £1,000 for costs and £34 for the victim surcharge, totalling £1,234.
Cllr James Mallinder, East Suffolk’s cabinet member for the Environment said: “There is no excuse for littering or fly-tipping. All residents have a responsibility to ensure their household waste is disposed of properly and if you arrange for someone else to remove waste from your home on your behalf, you must keep details of this person or business. If your waste is found fly-tipped and you are unable to provide details about who took it away, then you will be held responsible and, as can be seen in this case, may have to pay a considerable fine.
“The high costs incurred here could have easily been avoided by paying the Fixed Penalty Notice when it was issued, or better still, ensuring the waste was properly disposed of in the first place. Residents should always use a licensed waste carrier, obtain a receipt and note down the registration number of the vehicle used to take their rubbish away.
“Disposing of waste correctly and reducing fly-tipping is an important aspect of dealing with the climate emergency. Information on how to dispose of all types of household waste can be found at www.eastsuffolk.gov.uk and at www.suffolkrecycling.org.uk.”