A South Leeds builder dug himself into a hole after illegally dumping waste while converting a cellar, reports Leeds City Council.
Instead of using an organisation licensed to move and dispose of waste, Mohammed Farooq from Beeston allowed temporary employees to dump rubble in local bin yards.
His failure to comply with section 34 of Environmental Protection Act 1990 meant Farooq was handed a £700 fine by Leeds magistrates. He was also ordered to pay costs of £750 and a victim surcharge of £15.
The case came to light on 9 January this year when a local police officer spotted an unusually large pile of rubble in a bin yard on Harlech Crescent, Beeston.
Finding out where the rubble came from proved all too easy for the officer as the culprits had left a trail. The muddy footprints led the officer to a house nearby.
Having been tipped off by police, environmental enforcement officers from the council stepped in to investigate the dubious waste disposal methods.
The innocent home owners had employed Farooq to dig out their cellar and paid him for skips to take away the waste. Farooq admitted to employing two temporary workers to remove the waste but denied any knowledge of them tipping the soil and debris illegally.
As Farooq could not produce any documentation to prove he’d used a registered waste carrier to remove the waste he was in breach of his legal duty of care and prosecuted.
Councillor Mark Dobson, executive member for the environment said: “It’s important to do your homework when employing anyone to renovate your home. This will make sure you don’t fall foul of rogues or cowboys. You need to check that they comply with their waste responsibilities as well as making sure they do a good job.
“Disposing waste is not a trivial matter. When legal duties are ignored it can have a
seriously detrimental impact on local communities and the environment and we
won’t tolerate it.”
Unfortunately for the home owners, Farooq’s failure to deal with the building site waste left them out of pocket. They’d already paid in good faith for Farooq to deal with the rubble appropriately, but they also generously paid to clean up the bin yards so local residents wouldn’t be inconvenienced.
To avoid being in a similar situation, you should ask to see receipts or the waste carrier’s licence so rubbish from your home renovation isn’t fly-tipped.