A couple have been hit with a bill of more than £3,000 after being found responsible for three separate fly-tips.
The Ashford pair were brought to court after council workers linked them to the piles of rubbish – one of which was outside their own home.
Ashford Borough Council (ABC) was first alerted to a pile of household rubbish building up on the pavement at the rear of a home in Kilndown Close in April 2022.
Officers visited the home on several occasions to monitor the situation and take photographs of the rubbish, while identifying the man and woman as being liable for council tax at the property.
Five months later, in August, a member of the public reported a fly-tip in Purchase Lane. It featured an armchair, carpet, plastic boxes, golf bag, suitcases, household refuse bags, bags for life, blue sheeting and a grey and white flecked work surface.
Documents recovered from the rubbish identified the woman living in the house in Kilndown Close.
A further fly-tip site was identified nearby. This was larger and contained various bags of waste, a long red-coloured bag and broken wooden furniture – and eagle-eyed officers noticed that the same blue sheeting found in Purchase Lane was also present.
As part of the investigation, photographs of the waste at the two secondary sites were compared to the dump outside Kilndown Close, and a number of similar items were spotted in all three.
Each of the two occupants of the house was invited to the Civic Centre for an interview under caution, but both failed to attend.
However, they did appear when the case was brought before Folkestone Magistrates Court last Wednesday.
Both pleaded guilty to an offence under Section 110 of the Environmental Protection Act 1995, which states that it is an offence for a person, without reasonable excuse, to fail to comply with a requirement to attend an interview under caution regarding an investigation.
In addition, the man admitted a further offence of failing in his legal duty of care to ensure that before using someone to dispose of your rubbish, after telling the court that he had paid a friend £200 to take the waste away from the property in Kilndown Close.
For both offences he was given fines and costs totalling £1,705.36, while the woman was given fines and costs totalling £1,355.36 for the offence of failing to attend the Civic Centre for an interview under caution.
The total fines and costs handed down to the pair was £3,060.72.
A spokesman for ABC’s environmental enforcement team says householders continue to trust “complete strangers” to dispose of their waste without asking for proof that they are licensed to do so, or obtaining a proper receipt for the transaction.
“It is vital that householders adhere to their Duty of Care and always ask to see the Waste Carriers Environment Agency licence. I can’t believe that residents still hand over large amounts of cash to people that they have never dealt with before. Always get a receipt or invoice for any payments of services made and always ensure that it has the full contact details of the service provider.
“If your waste is fly-tipped and we discover that you have failed carry out the necessary checks then you face a £400 Fixed Penalty Notice!”