Local builder fined for his role in causing giant flytip on Tooting Common
Published: Thursday 29th October 15
A 37-year-old builder from Tooting is one of three people who have now been convicted of involvement in the dumping of a huge amount of waste on Tooting Common earlier this summer.
Rubble, debris and other construction materials belonging to builder Leonard Panxhy was dumped on the common near Furzedown Road on June 3.
The waste had come from renovation work being carried out on a residential property in nearby Moring Road which Mr Panxhy had just purchased.
The 80m long flytip caused deep upset
When discovered later that day, the flytip stretched across the common for some 80 metres.
On Tuesday Lavender Hill magistrates court heard that Mr Panxhy had paid a man with a van to take the waste away.
That man - and another accomplice - were both recently convicted of a string of offences relating to flytips discovered all over south London and Kent. Some were so big they completely blocked country roads. The two men were caught by Kent Police and are currently remanded in custody awaiting sentence.
The council’s environment spokesman Cllr Jonathan Cook said: “This was a very serious flytip that caused enormous upset in the area.
“I am absolutely delighted that the three individuals responsible for this shocking act of criminal behaviour have all been caught and hauled before the courts.
“If ever there was a case that highlights the perils and pitfalls of paying a man with a van to take away your waste it is this one. People should never ever simply trust someone who cold calls them and offers a cheap deal to get rid of DIY waste, unwanted furniture or white goods, They must always make proper checks and ask to see proof that the person is authorised to transport and carry waste.
“If you do make this mistake chances are it will end up being dumped in a local park or in a street just around the corner – and as in this case it is not just the dumper who will be prosecuted, so will the person who paid them.”
Tuesday’s court hearing heard in mitigation that as soon as the council’s parks police team had traced Mr Panxhy to the address in Moring Road he immediately went to the common and picked up all the waste himself.
He pleaded guilty to an offence under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and was ordered to pay a total of £670 in fines and prosecution costs.
Residents who choose to employ a waste removal company should always ask to see the relevant waste transfer notes to ensure it is being disposed of lawfully and they should also ask to see a waste carriers license. Companies that offer to transport and remove waste on behalf of others must have a proper permit issued by the Environment Agency.
Households wanting rubbish cleared can call the town hall. The council will remove waste for a modest fee. If residents opt instead for a private contractor they must make reasonable checks that the contractor is licensed and they must insist on a proper receipt.