A Leeds man has learned the hard way that business and flytipping do not make good bedfellows.
Jonathan Jeffers of Fenton Place, Middleton, pleaded and was found guilty of dumping waste at Leeds Magistrates court last week. Jeffers was fined £600 and ordered to pay costs of £667.86 plus a £60 victim surcharge.
On 17 May 2013, Leeds City Council staff were called out to clear up a bed, mattress and cushions that had been found at the side of the road on Wide Lane, Morley.
Staff were quick to pick up the dumped furniture and with the assistance of witnesses to the grime crime, environmental enforcement officers traced Jeffers.
Having delivered a bed to an elderly customer, Jeffers claimed he was doing a good deed by removing the customer’s old bed, a service his business would not normally provide. However, instead of disposing of the bed properly, Jeffers turned a blind eye when the passenger of his vehicle simply removed the items from the van and left them by the roadside.
Magistrates said that despite his intentions, Jeffers should have ordered his employee to return the items to the van, so was just as responsible for the environmental crime.
Councillor Mark Dobson, executive member for the environment, said:
“It’s one thing to do a good deed; however, this good deed turned sour all too quickly.
“As a responsible, respectable business owner, it’s simply not acceptable to ignore illegal activities happening under your nose.
“The council should not be left to the count the cost of cleaning up business waste.”
Businesses should have an appropriate waste disposal contract in place.
If customers are in the market for new furniture or household goods, businesses can advise customers that many charities and organisations across the city will pick up unwanted furniture and take donations of good quality household goods and working electronics.
The council’s recycling centres also have dedicated containers so residents can drop off household goods to be re-used by local charities. The east Leeds recycling centre at Seacroft is also home to Revive, a re-use shop selling donated items back to the public at low costs.
If large items or furniture can’t be reused, the council offers a bulky waste collection service.
For more information on re-use and recycling services in the city, please see www.leeds.gov.uk/residents/Pages/ReUse.aspx.
Flytipping can also be reported on the council’s website www.leeds.gov.uk/residents/Pages/Street-cleaning.aspx.