Robert Walker, owner/operator of Bob’s Skips in Basildon, Essex, was duped by a rogue waste collector, it seems.
He failed to check the legitimacy of a haulier who claimed to be working for a genuine haulage company. The driver did not work for the company and was using fake waste transfer notices. The waste was later found fly-tipped at four different locations in Essex.
Chelmsford magistrates heard that the rogue trader had made a cold call to Bob’s Skips looking for something to fill his lorry for a return journey.
Sarah Dunne, prosecuting for the Environment Agency, told magistrates that Walker, 54, of Whitmore Way, Basildon, arranged four of these deliveries. She told the court that Walker had asked for waste transfer notices but made no further enquiries about the legitimacy of the company and failed to notice the forms were not filled in properly.
He also had no idea where the waste was being taken nor did he check that it had arrived at its destination – all part of his duty of care. Due to inaccurate paperwork, it was not possible to trace the lorry or the driver.
Mrs Dunne said Walker had been reckless and breached the duty of care he had when managing waste.
After the hearing, Environment Agency officer Tom Pickover said: “We hope this sends out a clear message to waste operators that they cannot take a cavalier approach to its disposal. The duty of care rules are there to protect the environment and legitimate traders who want to do a good job of disposing of waste properly.”
Walker was fined £10,000, ordered to pay £8,300 towards the costs of the clean-up of the fly-tipped rubbish and £6,532 in costs. There was also a £30 victim surcharge.