The flytip in Capel Road Photo: Ashford Borough Council

An Ashford resident who failed to pay a £400 Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) following the discovery of fly-tipped waste at two separate locations in the town has been successfully prosecuted by Ashford Borough Council.

The 38-year-old man from South Ashford, who failed to appear for his trial at Folkestone Magistrates Court on 25 November, was found guilty in his absence and ordered to pay a fine of £440, £620 in prosecution costs, clean-up costs of £285.40 and a court surcharge of £44.

The total of £1,389.40 is significantly higher than the Fixed Penalty Notice that he had failed to pay.

The court heard that in November 2021 the resident was approached by two men in a van offering to remove his waste for a payment of £200. The resident was told that they would take the rubbish to the local tip but the waste ended up being fly-tipped in two separate locations, in Hamstreet Road and Capel Road.

Paddling Pool

A member of the public reported the fly-tips and the borough Council’s Environmental Enforcement Team was alerted. One large fly-tip on farmland in Hamstreet contained building waste, large DIY store bags, and cardboard packaging, while the smaller tip on Capel Road included building waste and a paddling pool.

On inspecting the rubbish the team found evidence that led them to the householder who paid for the waste to be taken away. He was interviewed under caution and confirmed that the waste from both fly-tips came from his property. He said he paid £200 in cash to two men in a van who offered to take the waste away.

The flytip in Hamstreet Road Photo: Ashford Borough Council

The resident admitted he did not request to see their Environment Agency Waste Carriers licence and failed to obtain a receipt or invoice. As a result he was issued with a £400 FPN for failing in his Duty of Care to ensure that whoever collects his waste is authorised to do so.

Failed to attend court

As a result of his failure to pay the £400 FPN, the Council took legal action against the householder. When he failed to attend court a successful application was made by the Council’s in-house lawyer for the trial to proceed in his absence.

The court heard from a number of Council employees, the member of the public who found the waste and also examined a large quantity of photographic evidence provided by the Environmental Enforcement Team. The court was shown the transcript of the interview in which the defendant identified the waste as his own and stated that he had paid two men in a white van to take it away.


The Magistrates found the resident guilty of failing in his duty to take all measures reasonable in the circumstances to ensure that all waste produced at that property was only passed to an authorised person or to a person for authorised transport purposes, contrary to section 34(6) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

Duty of care

Households and also businesses have a legal Duty of Care when it comes to what happens to their waste. In this case, the resident failed in carrying out checks to enquire if the waste collectors were registered with the Environmental Agency. The resident failed to inspect their authorised licence or obtain a written receipt. Many of the leads that end with offenders being caught come from residents alerting us to fly-tipping incidents by using the Report It page on the our website – see 

Beware rogue waste carriers

Fly-tippers often target households via social media or local advertising, luring customers in with cheap rates to dispose of unwanted furniture, building rubble or garden waste. But these unlicensed waste carriers often simply dump the waste wherever they can get away with it, including in Ashford’s country lanes.

Householders or small businesses found to be using these rogues to dispose of their waste can be prosecuted by Ashford Borough Council, with FPNs of up to £400 per offence. Failure to pay may result in court action where fines can be much larger. If using a commercial service, you should check whether someone is licensed to carry waste by calling the Environment Agency on 03708 506506 or visit their website at 

It also helps if householders receive a written receipt or transfer note, including contact details, description of waste removed and details of where the waste is being taken to.

Festive warning

A spokesman for the Ashford Environmental Enforcement Team said: “Fly-tipping is not only unsightly and a hazard to the local community and to the environment, it has an economic impact too when it comes to cleaning up.

“Over the Christmas and New year period it is vital that householders adhere to their responsibilities when arranging waste to be taken away. All fly-tips are thoroughly investigated and if it’s discovered that householders have failed in their Duty of Care they will face a Fixed Penalty Notice or prosecution.”

By Ed

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