'Handyman' fined after waste from property he was working on was fly tipped in back lane

The waste fly tipped in the back lane of Southend Avenue
-Credit: (Image: Darlington Borough Council)

A 'handyman' has been fined and ordered to pay costs of more than £630 after waste from a property he was working on was fly tipped in a nearby back lane.

Gary Marsh, of Stonethwaite Close, Hartlepool, trading as GM Handyman Services, was found guilty at Peterlee Magistrates' Court on Tuesday (28 May) of failing, without reasonable excuse, to provide information relevant to an investigation into fly tipping, contrary to section 110(2)(a) and (5) or the Environment Act 1995.

He was fined £220 and ordered to pay costs of £322.50 and a victim surcharge of £88.

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The court heard that on December 8, 2023, civic enforcement officers from Darlington Borough Council attended a report of fly tipped waste in the back lane of Southend Avenue, Darlington. Evidence gathered linked the waste to renovation works on a nearby property that was being carried out by Marsh, trading as GM Handyman Services.

Marsh was invited to an interview under caution regarding the waste but failed to appear or make contact with officers. A notice under section 108 of the Environment Act 1995 was issued requiring Marsh to attend an interview or make suitable alternative arrangements, but no response was received.

Graham Hall, head of community safety at Darlington Borough, said: "Our staff work hard to keep Darlington's streets, back lanes and green spaces clean and tidy for all to enjoy, and we will not tolerate fly tipping. This case sends out a clear message that we will investigate incidents of fly tipping and whenever possible take action against those responsible.

"We would also like to remind householders that if you pay someone, other than the council, to take your waste away, you should always check they have a waste carrier licence and ask for a waste transfer note. If your waste is fly tipped, you could be fined along with the individual or company you paid to remove it."

The Environment Agency issues waste carrier licences. You can check if a company has a licence using the online register at here. Information on the correct means of disposing of all types of waste can be found on the council’s website here.