A WASHINGTON van driver who had one vehicle crushed on suspicion of being involved in fly-tipping has been left with a court bill of nearly £1,000.
Liam Purvis, of Chiltern Close, Lambton, advertised as a waste management business on social media using trading names such as Liam’s Removals and Scrap, Rapid Removals, and LNR Waste Management. In his advertisements, he claimed he had an Environment Agency Waste Carriers Licence.
When Sunderland City Council enforcement officers began investigating a series of fly-tipping incidents, eight members of the public said Mr Purvis had taken away their waste.
Despite requests for further information, Mr Purvis never produced any documents or licences that permitted him to transport waste.
Mr Purvis, who had been living in Wraith Terrace, Ryhope, was charged with failure to produce waste information forms, failure to produce a waste carrier licence and failure to assist with an investigation.
In April 2020, the City Council seized a van belonging to Mr Purvis which was later crushed. It was seized because the council has powers allowing it to confiscate vehicles suspected of being involved in environmental crime or fly-tipping.
The council’s prosecution case was heard by South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court where Mr Purvis pleaded guilty and the court fined him £500, ordered him to pay costs of £300, and a victim surcharge of £50.
In April this year, Durham County Council had also prosecuted Mr Purvis for similar offences of being an unlicensed waste carrier and he had been fined £660 and ordered to pay costs of £232.
Deputy Leader of Sunderland City Council, Councillor Claire Rowntree said: “Fly-tipping is illegal and completely unacceptable. It’s very important for residents to be vigilant when hiring waste carriers and understand that the householder has a responsibility to ensure that waste is not fly-tipped.
“Many householders might believe that once their waste has been collected it is out of sight out of mind, however not following the correct procedures can make you part of the problem.
“Residents regularly tell us they expect a cleaner and greener Sunderland and those looking to have waste removed must take all reasonable measures to ensure that they only transfer household waste to an authorised person.
“I would like to thank all of our residents who continue to do the right thing when it comes to disposing of their household waste because you are helping to keep our city clean. If you know of anyone involved in the illegal disposal of waste do not hesitate to report it.”
Residents can check if the waste collector they’re planning to use has a license on the Environment Agency’s website https://www.gov.uk/guidance/access-the-public-register-for-environmental-information or by calling them on 08708 506 506.
Alternatively residents can arrange for up to six items to be taken away for £10 by booking a bulky collection through the City Council at www.sunderland.gov.uk
The case against Mr Purvis was heard by magistrates on Wednesday 1 December.
Check out the seizure of the van and watch it being crushed below: