Flytip evidence trail leads to negligent builder
Published: Friday 30th June 17
A builder could be facing the prospect of a big fine following the discovery of a large flytip on Tooting Common.
Flytip on Tooting Common
A huge pile of building materials, rubble and debris was found on the common last month.
Evidence found within the flytip led Wandsworth Council’s parks police units to a residential address across the borough boundary in Streatham.
A dossier of evidence compiled by the parks police officers has now been given to Lambeth Council which would need to prosecute this particular case.
Although the flytip was discovered in Wandsworth, because the waste originated from an address in Lambeth only that council can prosecute this offence. This is because the actual flyipper cannot be traced but legal action can still be taken against the builder for failing to ensure his waste was properly and lawfully disposed of. And because that specific offence took place within the borough of Lambeth, only Lambeth has the legal powers to bring that case to court.
Wandsworth is now liaising with Lambeth to ensure that now happens and justice can be done. The maximum penalty that can be imposed by the courts following conviction for this type of serious environmental crime is an unlimited fine.
Residents having work done on their properties should always check with their builders and other contractors how they will be disposing of any waste materials.
They should be extremely wary of people knocking on their doors unannounced and offering to take away their rubbish.
Cowboy waste contractors often drive around residential areas looking for homes that are being refurbished or cleared. They will approach the owner and offer to take “junk” away for a cut price rate.
But instead of taking it to a proper waste disposal site and paying the appropriate fees, they simply dump it somewhere nearby – often in parks or other open spaces – leaving taxpayers to foot the clean-up bill.
In these cases it is not just the flytipper who is committing a crime – the householder who paid them to take their waste away is also liable under the law.
How you can help keep Wandsworth
- Leave your waste and recycling bags out on the correct day each week. See wandsworth.gov.uk/waste to check your collection day
- Show your support on Twitter using the hashtag #KeepWandsworthClean
- Report flytips on the council website www.wandsworth.gov.uk/flytipping
- Pass on evidence that could help identify a flytipper in confidence to firstname.lastname@example.org