© Torfaen County Borough Council

A trader has been fined nearly £1,000 for dumping household rubbish in the Welsh countryside.

Philip Hatch, 28, of Llanelly Hill, Abergavenny, advertised grass cutting and waste removal services door to door in Blaenavon in July 2016, and charged a resident £40 to remove a van load of household and garden waste.

The rubbish was later found dumped on common land off Varteg Road in Pontypool.

See also: The story behind the fly-tipping epidemic on farms

Five tips to prevent fly tipping on farms

  1. Balance access needs with barriers – prevent access using gates, barriers, boulders or bunds.
  2. Work with neighbours, your local Farm Watch group, police and the council  to monitor fly tipping in your area.
  3. Set up a WhatsApp group with local farmers to circulate information about fly-tipping activity.
  4. Install CCTV and improve lighting on farms to deter fly tippers.
  5. Make sure gates are locked and closed when not in use.

(Source: Country Land and Business Association)

At Cwmbran Magistrates Court, Mr Hatch pleaded guilty to dumping the rubbish and confirmed that he did not have a waste carrier licence to allow him to collect and dispose of waste legally.

He was prosecuted under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, fined £220 and made to pay compensation of £342, additional costs of £354.05, and a victim surcharge of £30.

‘Total disregard’ for law

Duncan Smith, Torfaen County Borough Council’s chief officer for neighbourhoods, planning and public protection, said Mr Hatch had shown “a total disregard for the law, the environment and local residents”.

He added: “Criminals like Mr Hatch undermine legitimate waste removal businesses, pose a risk to their clients, who can be fined up to £5,000 for using an unregistered waste carrier, and cost the taxpayer in Torfaen around £120,000 a year.”

Meanwhile, Monmouthshire County Council has issued a reminder that residents have a duty of care to ensure that they dispose of their waste properly – or if they give it to someone else for disposal, to ensure they are a registered carrier of waste.

This follows a commercial-scale fly-tipping incident on 17 May close to the Foxhunter Memorial on Blorenge mountain, in Abergavenny, which blocked the road between the Keepers Pond and Llanellen. The council removed the rubbish promptly.

Fly tipping on Blorenge mountain on 17 May © Monmouthshire County Council

Both the NFU and Country, Land and Business Association have called for tougher action from the authorities to tackle fly tipping.

Stop The Blot logo reading: Fly-tipping is ruining our countryside. Stop the Blot. Farmers Weekly Stop The Blot is a Farmers Weekly campaign designed to raise awareness of the damage caused by fly-tipping

Serious offences of fly tipping are punishable by an unlimited fine or up to five years in prison.

In April, Farmers Weekly launched the national Stop The Blot campaign to tackle the illegal dumping of rubbish on farms and in the countryside.

In March, the NFU wrote to Justice Secretary Liz Truss, the National Police Chiefs’ Council and the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners to ensure magistrates were made aware of their increased sentencing powers for fly-tipping offences.