A crackdown on flytipping in Barnsley has seen a man left with a bill totally more than £1,500 after he was caught on CCTV and ended up in court.
Alexander Cunliffe, of Cherrys Road, Cundy Cross, in the town also temporarily lost the vehicle he had used – which was impounded by the council as officers investigated – though he was later allowed that back.
The prosecution, at Barnsley Magistrates Court, is a success for the council’s increasingly hard line against fly tipping, which has left the council with large bills to clear up after those dumping waste at many locations across the town.
They are now using CCTV cameras to monitor activity and are investigating cases to seek out whatever evidence exists, with 600 letters sent out to people suspected of being involved in the space of only three months this year.
In cases where waste can be linked to individuals who cannot be proven to have deliberated tipped it, such as through addressed letters, they can still be given fixed penalties for littering.
In the case of Cunliffe, he pleaded guilty to an offence under the Environmental Protection Act after being caught dumping pigeon waste in Wombwell Woods earlier in the summer.
The court was told he had earlier visited a household waste recycling site where he was told it needed to be bagged so it could be properly disposed of, but instead he fly-tipped his load.
Because the incident was caught on camera, council enforcement officers were able to investigate, resulting in a hearing at Barnsley Magistrates Court, where he was told that only his previous good character saved him from losing his vehicle and driving licence.
Despite that, he was fined £480, with almost £1,000 in costs and other charges, bringing the penalty imposed against him to £1,531.
Following the hearing, Coun Jenny Platts, who represents communities on the council’s cabinet, said: “This result is great news and sends a message to anyone thinking about fly tipping in Barnsley – it will not be tolerated.
“As part of our #EverybodyThink campaign to protect the environment we’ll continue to use social media to share video evidence. We encourage people to share our posts as a warning to the minority of people who think this behaviour is acceptable – together we can tackle fly tipping.”