Newcastle man operating waste removal business on social media fined after dumping asbestos in Northumberland

Pictures of the waste discovered in Widdrington in July last year
-Credit: (Image: Northumberland County Council)

A Newcastle man has been fined and ordered to pay the cost of a clean-up after he was found guilty of fly-tipping asbestos waste in Northumberland.

On Tuesday, July 3 last year, a fly-tipping incident was discovered on Felton Lane in Widdrington. The waste consisted of cement-based asbestos panels, wood and household waste.

Officers from Northumberland County Council's environmental enforcement team went to investigate, and they identified the culprit of the environmental crime as Ian Harold Wilkinson. Wilkinson, 31, of Blakelaw, Newcastle, had been operating a waste removal business which he advertised on social media.

He charged people for the removal of their waste who believed that he would dispose of it lawfully. Wilkinson pleaded guilty at Newcastle Magistrates' Court to dumping the waste on Friday, June 28, 2024 and was sentenced to a fine of £300 reduced to £200 for his early guilty plea.

He was also ordered to pay £1,034 in costs and a victim surcharge of £80 - a total financial penalty of £1,314. Northumberland councillor Colin Horncastle said: "This is another appalling incident of fly-tipping and I am so pleased the perpetrator has been caught and is paying for his crime.

"This is just one of a series of heavy fines that have been handed out this year as we continue our crackdown on fly-tipping in our beautiful county. Fly-tipping is a serious environmental crime and our officers are tenacious and investigate and pursue every single fly-tipping incident.

"Many of the culprits we’ve caught and prosecuted for fly-tipping are rogue waste carriers who charge residents to collect their bulky household waste, but then dump it unlawfully."

Pictures of the waste discovered in Widdrington in July last year
Pictures of the waste discovered in Widdrington in July last year -Credit:Northumberland County Council

Northumberland County Council urged residents using an independent waste carrier to always ask to see the waste carrier licence, issued by the Environment Agency. They also warned residents to be wary of businesses that only operate through social media, businesses that do not have a landline phone number or business address, and anyone coming to their door to offer to remove rubbish "on the cheap".