A MAN who claimed he gave his rubbish to a man in a white van to dispose of has ended up in court and fined after some of the waste was fly tipped in Stocksfield.

Northumberland County Council is now warning residents and businesses they could be unwittingly using a rogue trader to remove their waste and is advising people to be extra vigilant and check traders are genuine before handing over waste.

An investigation was launched by Northumberland County Council’s public protection environmental enforcement team after piles of rubbish were found dumped on two occasions in the county.

On August 20, 2019, the council received a report of a fly tipping incident at Hindley Woods, Stocksfield, of a large quantity of mixed household waste.

The following week, a further report of a fly tipping incident was received at Codlaw Woods, Netherwitton, also of a large quantity of mixed household waste.

The waste was traced to Mohammed Razaq, of Hartburn Place, Fenham, who was called in for interview with the county council’s enforcement officers.

He said his wife had organised a skip for most of the waste, but he was tasked with removing the remaining items. He said he had given the waste to a male who attended his address with a van and removed the waste for £200. He did not ask for identification, note the vehicle registration number, ask for a waste carriers' certificate or question where the waste was being taken too.

Razaq pleaded guilty in relation to their duty of care contrary to Section 34(1) Environmental Protection Act 1990.

On November 5, Razaq, 30, appeared before Newcastle Magistrates. He was ordered to pay a total of £470 after he pleaded guilty to two offences of failing in his duty of care for the disposal of waste generated during his property renovations.

Philip Soderquest, head of housing and public protection at Northumberland County Council, said: "There is a growing criminal scam in which residents pay, in good faith, to have their bulky waste taken away by people posing as legitimate waste collectors, but who then, to avoid costs, go on to fly tip the very material they were being paid to pick up.

“Fly-tipping is a serious criminal offence and takes time and money to clear up.

“This case serves as a reminder that if you pay for your waste to be taken away and don’t check where it’s going, you are running the risk of a fine or prosecution yourself."

“There are so many ways to get rid of waste responsibly and most of our residents do so. No matter what the waste, or the reasons behind it, fly tipping will never be tolerated and will be dealt with firmly by the council. “ added Mr Soderquest.