A couple from Northampton are counting the cost after paying a white van man to take away their waste.
This week they were ordered to pay a total of £1,976 after he illegally dumped it in the South Northamptonshire countryside.
Following renovations, Vatan Bakija, 33, and Justyna Wieczorek, 35, moved into their home in The Warren, Hardingstone and left moving boxes and other waste on top of the builder’s waste in the front garden.
One morning, as she returned home from the school run, Wieczorek was approached by a man who said he would take away the waste.
Bakija later accepted the offer from the stranger to take away the waste for between £100 and £250 (both parties disagreed on the amount paid), and along with his partner both supervised the white van man and two other strangers as they loaded it into the van.
On Friday, 30 September 2016 South Northamptonshire Council (SNC) was contacted by a member of the public regarding a fly-tip on private farm land off a minor road leading to Great Houghton, from the junction of the B526.
SNC’s environmental enforcement officers found numerous items in the waste addressed to Bakija and Wieczorek at The Warren.
After both admitted their guilt at Northampton Magistrates on Monday, September 4 Bakija was fined £400 and ordered to pay £250 council costs, £1,156 compensation to the farmer, and a £40 victim surcharge. Wieczorek was fined £100 and ordered to pay a £30 victim surcharge.
Cllr Dermot Bambridge, SNC’s portfolio holder said: “Householders must be aware that responsibility for the waste they produce does not end when it leaves their home.
“In this case the householders only took a first name, no vehicle registration number and did not check the person they entrusted had a licence to carry waste.
“Householders must understand there are no shortcuts when it comes to waste. Dispose of it yourself via the council tips or contract a reputable tradesman with the proper licence, or you may end up paying much more than you bargained for.”
The council stressed anyone disposing of waste from their property must take reasonable measures to ensure the person taking it away is an authorised waste carrier, meaning they have a waste carrier’s licence. Householders should ask to see it and obtain a receipt.
They should also make a note the collector’s name, telephone number and vehicle details, and be wary of individuals advertising waste collection services on social media or those ‘door knocking.’
Anyone who discovers waste dumped in the district can report it via the SNC's online fly-tip form.