Leighton Buzzard shops fined for illegal disposal of waste

The fly-tipped waste in Bryants Lane
The fly-tipped waste in Bryants Lane

A Leighton Buzzard shop owner has been fined after waste from his business ended up being fly-tipped in Heath and Reach.

And a tattoo shop in the town has also been prosecuted by Central Beds Council for not disposing of sharps needles in the correct manner.

Both offenders, who were caught during separate incidents, attended Luton Magistrates Court on December 5 and pleaded guilty to breaches of duty of care under section 34 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. This imposes a ‘Duty of Care’ on all those who import, produce, carry, keep, treat or dispose of controlled waste.

Mohammad Aslam, the owner of Mo’s mini-market, Billington Road, Leighton Buzzard was reported by a member of the public to have fly-tipped a commercial drinks and ice cream chest after they were found, on July 10 this year in a recess in the road of Bryants Lane, Heath and Reach.

Mr Aslam was asked to produce both a waste contract and waste transfer notes for his business, and in particular the waste transfer note for the drinks cabinet and ice cream chest.

In an interview Aslam identified the cabinet and ice cream cabinet as his, and explained how two men had approached him to remove the waste for £100.

Mr Aslam said he let the men take the waste and did not get a transfer note or a receipt. He stated that the men were in an unmarked van, and that he did not have any contact numbers for them.

Mr Aslam pleaded guilty and was fined £450, ordered to pay costs of £977.02 and a victim’s surcharge of £45, totalling £1472.02.

The second offender in court was Spencer Allen, the proprietor of Blood Rush, a tattoo shop on Clarence Road, Leighton Buzzard who was found guilty of illegally disposing of sharps needles.

There are several regulations and pieces of legislation relating to the disposal of tattoo waste. For example, under the 2005 Hazardous Waste Regulations, needles and sharps from tattoo and body art shops must be disposed of within specialised receptacles, and assigned a European Waste Catalogue (EWC) code.

Mr Allen was asked to attend an interview on August 7 and produce documents for his waste disposal.

MrAllen admitted that, since opening the business in 2013, he had not had a commercial or clinical waste contract to dispose of the waste produced by his business.

He stated that his sharps needles box was supplied by a man who worked for a waste management company. Mr Allen stated that every two to three months that person would collect the full container and dispose of it, giving Mr Allen an empty new sharps box to replace the one taken away.

Mr Allen stated that his other clinical waste was placed in yellow waste bags and given to a friend who worked at a local education establishment to be added to their clinical waste.

Mr Allen said he thought he was disposing of his waste correctly, and fully admitted failing in his duty as a business to correctly dispose of both his clinical and commercial waste.

During the court case Mr Allen produced his new waste contracts and expressed remorse for what had happened, explaining that before the investigation he did not really understand his obligations regarding disposal of waste.

Mr Allen pleaded guilty and was fined £300, ordered to pay costs of £477.02 and a victim’s surcharge of £30, totalling £807.

Councillor Budge Wells, Deputy Executive Member for Community Services at Central Bedfordshire Council, said: “These prosecutions are another great result for our Community Safety Operations Team.

“It shows how we can help reduce crime, nuisance and anti-social behaviour, and assist in securing arrests and prosecutions using a combination of tactics and with the help of the public.

“We have a zero-tolerance attitude toward fly-tipping and littering in Central Bedfordshire, and our Environmental Protection, CCTV, Waste and Legal teams work relentlessly to ensure offenders are brought to justice.

“Fly-tipping is a deliberate and thoughtless act that causes a blight on local environments. It is a source of pollution, a danger to public health and hazard to wildlife, and it also undermines legitimate waste businesses.

“Failure to properly dispose of any type of waste is simply not acceptable, and we will take action against anyone caught.

“These successful prosecutions show that we not only take action on individual fly tippers, but also businesses that aren’t following the correct procedures or checking that their suppliers have the correct waste carrier licenses.”