Carpets, fishes and fines

Two fly-tippers have been prosecuted thanks to a local resident who joined forces with Merton Council’s enforcement team to win cases against Mr Nasir and Mr Kingston at Wimbledon Magistrates Court this month.

Local resident, Simon Clark, joined forces with the council last year to put a stop to the illegal dumping at The Copper Mill Lane Recycling Centre. The site, which consists of several large recycling bins for the disposal of residential waste, is frequently targeted by fly-tippers who dump non-recyclable waste. Mr Clark recorded the number plates of any vehicles used to fly-tip and reported it to the council.

The council were then able to trace the owners of the vehicles through the DVLA. Provision under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 mean that the person in control of the vehicle, or in a position to do so, can be prosecuted. This places responsibility of the owners to ensure their vehicles are used legally and has enabled Merton to secure prosecution for a fly-tip even if the owner of the vehicles are not the ones to dump the rubbish.

On 12 January 2005 Mr Nasir was sentenced to a six-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay the council’s costs of £200 after being found guilty of being in control, or in a position to control, the use of the vehicle used to fly-tip. A van was used to dump carpet, underlay and batons at the recycling site on Sunday 13 June 2004. The van was identified as being hired to Mr Nasir on the day of the fly-tip.

In addition Mr William Kingston from Worcester Park was fined £200 and ordered to pay the council’s costs of over £800 on 26 January 2005. Mr Kingston was prosecuted after his van was used to repeatedly discard fish boxes at the recycling site on Thursday mornings last May.

The council are delighted with the successful prosecution and hope it will act as a deterrent. Since November 2004 the council have successfully won four cases against people who have fly-tipped at the Copper Mill Lane site.

Councillor Linda Kirby, Merton Council’s Cabinet Member for Environmental Quality, said: “This is another positive step in our fight against environmental crime and making Merton a safe, clean and green borough. I particularly thank our resident who gave up his own time to attend court and ensure a successful prosecution was made.”

Waste can be disposed of legally at the Re-use and Recycling Centre in Garth Road, Morden. Commercial waste opening hours are from 8am to 4pm Monday to Friday and 8am to 1pm on Sunday. There is a charge of £25 for the first 300kg and £75 f