Wigan resident pays the price for using bogus waste collector

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photo of rubbish

Fly tippers have been warned they face paying huge costs after a resident who hired bogus waste collectors appeared in court.

Following an investigation by Wigan Council, Jay Cooke of Wellfield Road, has been ordered to pay more than £1,175 by magistrates.

He had pleaded guilty to failing to take reasonable steps to prevent the illegal dumping of domestic rubbish.

Wigan Council environmental officers said the amount fly-tipped – of which Mr Cooke’s waste formed a part – was the largest dumping of domestic waste they had seen and required a clean-up effort lasting several hours

Councillor Carl Sweeney, cabinet member for environment, said: “We are determined to do everything we can to catch and prosecute those people who think it is acceptable to fly tip their waste.

“The prosecution should be a warning to anyone who is tempted to flout the law and dispose of their rubbish irresponsibly. 

The court heard how Mr Cooke received a recommendation on social media for waste collectors and paid the unlicensed individuals £60 for the service.

Officers found letters and receipts addressed to Mr Cooke among the waste that had been dumped at a location within the borough.

After collecting more than 40 large bags, two trucks were needed to take the rubbish away, at a cost of £586 to the council.

The team spent more than three hours clearing the rubbish, which included waste collected from other households, not just Mr Cooke’s. 

The council wants the prosecution to act as a reminder to residents about the use of bogus waste collectors, who take payment to dispose of household waste but then fly tip it.

Coun Sweeney added: “Our environmental officers say this is the largest fly tip of domestic waste they have seen so it’s a fantastic result to bring someone to justice.

“As part of The Deal we encourage residents to recycle their waste correctly so that the council can keep council tax low.

“The crackdown on fly tippers is something we can’t do on our own so we ask residents to be our eyes and ears and to report anything suspicious, especially if approached by someone offering disposal services on the cheap.”

Having appeared at Wigan and Leigh Magistrates’ Court, Mr Cooke was handed a fine of £150 and ordered to pay costs of £1,026.66 and a victim surcharge of £35. 

Residents who use an independent waste contractor must make sure the contractor is registered with the Environment Agency as a licensed carrier. Anyone licensed always needs to have a credit card style licence or certificate with them.

If you have information about fly-tipping which may help the council report it via the Report It app or online www.wigan.gov.uk