Rubbish Removal Q&A: Do the Biggest Flytippers Get the Smallest Fines?

There seems to be a growing groundswell of resentment across the UK on the apparent disparity of illegal rubbish removal fines. It seems that fly tippers who illegally discard the most rubbish, and do so in a way that blights the landscape, and often do so while scamming other people, often get lower fines or equal fines to citizens who fly tip a small amount, sometimes by accident.

Let’s take a close look at the illegal rubbish removal fines imposed on two different fly tippers for comparison.

 First, there’s the man, Daniel Brennan, who operated under a business name of “Sussex House and Rubbish Clearance.” He appeared as a legitimate business to his customers who would pay him for his rubbish removal services, plus enough to pay the legal tipping charges at legal tipping stations. However, he did not take the rubbish removal he collected to legal tipping stations! Instead, he illegally fly tipped the items he collected on the roadsides of Wilson Avenue and Whitehawk Road!

After some time, the man was caught for six of his fly tipping offenses but who knows how many more he actually got away with! Much of his fly tipping involved big items like household appliances, couches, tyres, and rubbish materials from building sites! It was estimated that of the fly tipping offenses they caught him for, he dumped an estimated 5.7 tonnes of rubbish removal at these sites! That’s about 12,566.3 American pounds or the weight of one large African elephant.

It will take a lot of hours and cost to the council and citizens to clean up the mess he has made and dispose of the items properly. Plus, these items will likely end up in the landfill. In other words, the impact of what this fly tipper did, to both the citizens taxed by the council government, and to the environment, is enormous.

Since council officials caught him red handed, he plead guilty to the crimes for which he was caught, a violation of the Environmental Protection Act of 1990. He was fined a total of £3,943.52, including separate fines for each of six fly tipping offenses, plus council fees. For American readers, £3,943.52 pounds is equivalent to 5309.71 American dollars.

Many UK citizens were outraged and felt the fly tipper should have had to pay much more. Perhaps beside the monetary fine, he could have been required to do hundreds of hours of community service. He continues to run a man and a van rubbish removal company. However, several citizens have expressed their views that it is unfair that he should be allowed to continue running this type of business. In fact, one of them called him a “criminal and van” service.

Now, to understand the wrath of the citizens, in spite of one council woman claiming that this case was a “clear message” that fly tippers will be caught and will undergo prosecution, compare the fine this man received with the fine in another recent case.

Hien Nguyen dumped a bag of rubbish removal into a recycle bin. It was likely by accident as there were rubbish removal bins very close by she could have used. After the council workers found her address in the bag, the council sent her a £800 fine. However, she did not pay the fine in the time allotted so they hauled her into court, raised the fine, and made her pay court costs. She ended up being fined a total of £2,566 for accidentally dumping one small bag of rubbish into a recycle bin!

They charged Hien Nguyen with fly tipping, the same as Daniel Brennan was charged. She dumped one small bag into a recycle bin and was fined £2,566. He criminally charged other people to legally haul away their rubbish and then dumped at least 5.7 TONNES of this rubbish on the roadside and was fined £3,943. So, Hien Nguyen was charged more than half of the fine that Daniel Brennan received!

Does this seem like a fair system of fines? To most citizens, it does not. In the eyes of most, Hien Nguyen’s “crime” (innocent mistake perhaps?) was far less damning than Daniel Brennan’s crime to swindle people and then blight public lands. This may be partly why large scale fly tipping scams are so prevalent these days. It may take citizens speaking out on this issue to get these fines commensurate with the level of criminality. While no fly tipping should be tolerated, without the respect of the citizens for what the councils are doing about it, it may never be stopped.

To prevent the type of scam that Daniel Brennan perpetrated on his customers, you can call Clearabee for a booking if you have rubbish removal you need hauled away. Clearabee is well respected in the industry for their honest practices and will provide you with the proper proof that your rubbish has been disposed of properly. On top of this, they will in most cases take your rubbish to places that will either reuse or upcycle the rubbish or recycle it.

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