Rubbish dumped at Hothfield Photo: ABC

An unauthorised waste collector who charged an Ashford householder more than £500 to dispose of their rubbish then dumped it at two separate rural locations appeared at Medway Magistrates court on 7 June 2023 for sentencing after being prosecuted by Ashford Borough Council’s Environment Enforcement Team.

The court heard that the man had been paid more than £500 by a householder to remove their waste on the understanding that the materials were to be disposed of correctly. However he fly-tipped the large quantities of waste at two locations in Hothfield and Plumpton.

The fly-tip was reported to the Council and their investigations led them to the householder, who was later issued with a £400 Fixed Penalty Notice for failing in their Duty of Care to ensure that the had been licenced to remove their waste.

Rubbish fly-tipped at Plumpton Photo: ABC

The court was told that further investigations led to Hilden and it was discovered that the waste collector wasn’t authorised or licenced by the Environment Agency.

Further enquiries revealed the accused was also operating as a scrap metal collector, again without being licenced or authorised by Ashford Borough Council.

All scrap metal collectors must be registered with both the Environment Agency and with the Council and they must hold both forms of licences.

In court at a previous hearing on 27 March in Folkestone, the offender had pleaded guilty to the following:

  1. On or around the 8 June 2022 you knowingly caused or permitted controlled waste to be deposited in or on land, namely on an unnamed bridleway and footpath off the A20 towards Waterfall Lane near Hothfield, Ashford, without an environmental permit authorising the deposit being in force. Contrary to Section 33(1) (a) and (6) of the Environment Protection Act 1990.
  1. On or around the 12 June 2022 you knowingly caused or permitted controlled waste to be deposited in or on land near West Bradbourne, Ashford, Kent, without an environmental permit authorising the deposit being in force. Contrary to Section 33(1) (a) and (6) of the Environment Protection Act 1990
  1. Between 1 April 2022 and 11 July 2022, the defendant carried on business wholly or partly as a scrap metal dealer when not authorised by a licence under the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013. Contrary to section 1 of the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013.

At the sentencing hearing, he was given a 12 month Community Order and ordered to do 60 hours unpaid work. In respect of costs of the case and clear up costs, a full costs award was made in the sum of £3,598.90 which he must now pay to Ashford Borough Council.

He was also offered rehabilitation and one to one support from the Probation Service to reduce the likelihood of reoffending.

At the conclusion of the court hearing, Mr Hilden apologised for his behaviour and indicated that he was a changed man and would not reoffend.

Environmental Crime Team

A spokesman for the Council’s Environmental Crime Team said: “We carry out thorough investigations for fly tipping offences and are involved in regular joint operations with police forces against all forms of waste collectors. If it is found that they are unlicensed and involved in fly tipping we will come down on them heavily.

“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. It’s 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.”

Public support

Many of the leads that end with offenders being caught come from residents alerting the Council 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.

By Ed

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