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Fly-tipper Matthew Towers fined after dumping waste at Darland Banks Nature Reserve in Gillingham

By Jenni Horn

A man who dumped rubbish at a beauty spot was caught out after an eagle-eyed member of the public took down his number plate.

Matthew Towers was seen fly-tipping a pile of waste including an oil drum, buckets and plastic sheeting, at Darland Banks Nature Reserve in Gillingham - a site of special scientific interest.

A member of the public watched Towers, noted his licence plate and called police, who then notified Medway Council.

Matthew Towers dumped rubbish at the Darland Banks Nature Reserve

When interviewed, Towers, 34, of Forge Lane, Upchurch, said he had been paid £40 to remove the rubbish from a business in Gillingham.

But he did not hold a waste carriers licence and decided to fly-tip.

Towers was fined £525 after admitting two charges under the Environmental Protection Act and Control of Pollution Act at Medway Magistrates’ Court.

With costs, he will end up paying more than £1,000.

Cllr Peter Hicks, in charge of community safety, said: “Fly-tipping is a scourge on our society. This man had the audacity to fly-tip at a nature reserve and think he could get away with it.

Towers didn't have a licence to handle waste

“The public won’t tolerate fly-tipping and the message is very clear – if you dump your rubbish where you shouldn’t you will get caught out.”

“Fly-tipping is a scourge on our society. This man had the audacity to fly-tip at a nature reserve" - Cllr Peter Hicks

Waste that is collected by unlicensed carriers carries a higher risk of being disposed of illegally.

Unlike this case, little or no evidence leaves council taxpayers picking up the cost of clearing fly-tipping.

During 2011/2012, Medway Council cleared nearly 1,864 tonnes of fly-tipping and almost 2,195 tonnes of litter from the streets of Medway.

The total cost to clear and dispose of such waste was £3.8 million.

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