Warning after man fined £1,600 for dumping an old appliance

Businesses and residents are being reminded to dispose of their waste responsibly after a plumber was fined £1,600 for dumping an old appliance on PCH land.

Martyn Wooltorton of Bowden Park Road pleaded guilty to depositing controlled waste – a washing machine and an old shower tray – on land to the rear of Sydney Street between April and July, contrary to the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

He was also ordered to pay £832 costs and a £160 victim surcharge by Plymouth magistrates.

The 50-year-old, who runs Gastight plumbing, was working at his property in Sydney Street and dumped an old washing machine and shower tray in the communal grounds of Claremont Flats, a PCH-owned block of flats, at the back of Sydney Street.

The court heard a Plymouth Community Homes ranger found the waste on 31 March 2017 and spoke to a man driving a van with the Gastight logo in April 2017. The trader told the ranger it was his waste. Despite the ranger asking him to move it, the items remained in the location.  They were still there the following month and again, Wooltorton was asked to move it.

The ranger sent photographs of the rubbish to the Council’s public protection service. They took pictures of the dumped rubbish before issuing a fixed penalty notice to Wooltorton on 14 June.

Wooltorton was interviewed on 18 July where he admitted he had deposited the waste but had forgotten to ask his scrapman to remove it, despite it being left for several months.

In mitigation, he stated that he was guilty of an error of omission and accepted that he had not pursued his collector enough. On receipt of the FPN he had thought the items had been removed. When he attended the interview and realised they were still there he went straight round and removed them.

The magistrates said he was reckless in his actions and his disregard of requests to remove it.

Cabinet member for Safer and Stronger Communities, Councillor Dave Downie said: “There is absolutely no excuse for this. If you are clearing out a house you don’t dump your rubbish on someone else’s property. We will take action against people who clearly care so little about their neighbours, about the people around them and the environment.”

Anyone who wants to get rid of rubbish must do it responsibly, either taking it to a waste disposal site themselves or using an authorised waste carrier to get rid of it for them. People should always ask the waste carrier to show their licence and the law also requires that people provide proper documentation to prove that the rubbish was disposed of responsibly.