Homeowners have been warned to protect themselves after an incident when an Aylesbury woman ended up paying more than £600 because she didn’t check whether people she had asked to remove waste were authorised to do so.
Rukhsana Iftikhar, 43, of Hampden Road was found guilty of failing in her duty of care as a householder regarding waste which was found dumped illegally.
Wycombe Magistrates Court heard that in February this year investigators examined dumped waste which they found at the roadside between Ledburn and Mentmore, near to the turning for the bridge made famous in the Great Train Robbery.
The waste was photographed and examined for evidence of its origin.
Details found within the dumped waste led the investigators to speak to Mrs Iftikhar.
When interviewed, she denied dumping the waste herself and said that she and her husband had employed ‘men with a van’ who they paid to remove household waste from their home in Aylesbury.
Mrs Iftikhar said they paid cash and that they had not done anything to identify the men or their vehicle, or to check that they were authorised to remove the waste.
Magistrates fined Mrs Iftikhar £125, and ordered £500 her to pay £500 towards clean-up and prosecution costs.
A victim surcharge of £20 was also levied meaning Mrs Iftikhar had to pay £645.
Cllr Mike Smith, chairman of the Waste Partnership for Bucks said: “We try to view householders positively when we find their waste fly-tipped, but we do have to insist that they check a waste carrier’s identity and confirm that they are authorised to remove waste.
“To protect yourself, make a note of their vehicle registration, and don’t pay by cash.
“If the carrier knows they can be traced, they’re much less likely to fly-tip.
“Providing the authorities with a registration number could mean that, if it does come to court, you’ll be a witness rather than the defendant.”