A Gateshead man has been given a 12-week prison sentence after being convicted of operating an illegal waste business.
Magistrates in South Tyneside jailed Dale Barrett of Heddon View, Ryton following an extensive investigation by Gateshead Council.
The investigation began in July 2017 after Barrett was caught on CCTV depositing waste in a private commercial waste bin at Blaydon Business Centre.
DVLA checks revealed the vehicle used by Barrett appeared to be falsely registered.
Gateshead Council Enforcement Officers then uncovered evidence showing that Barrett had obtained more than 60 permits to dump waste at the Council’s Household Waste and Recycling Centre in Blaydon permits in a single year, many of them using fake vehicle registration numbers.
Subsequent searches on social media found a Facebook advert for a waste disposal business called ‘Barretts Waste Removals’ with a contact number which was associated with the permit applications.
Officers continued their investigation and discovered that Barrett had been collecting and storing significant amounts of scrap metal in his garden at his home. Officers discovered that Barrett had made over £30,000 in scrap metal alone, despite being neither an authorised scrap metal collector nor having legal authority to transport waste.
Barrett already had a number of previous convictions from 2016 for waste-related offences, including the illegal burning of waste, for which he had received a suspended prison sentence.
In court, Barrett admitted offences of depositing controlled waste, dealing in scrap without a licence, and failing to produce waste transfer notes or a licence. Magistrates decided to activate 6 weeks of Barrett’s suspended sentence for his previous waste offences and then further sentenced him to a 12-week jail term for the illegal deposit of waste, the sentences to run concurrently. He was also ordered to pay £650 in costs.
Anneliese Hutchinson, service director for Development, Transport and Public Protection, says:
“Mr Barrett’s jail sentence should serve as a warning to anyone operating an illegal waste collection service in Gateshead.
“We are convinced that large amounts of the fly-tipping carried out across the region is by people who operate unlicensed waste disposal businesses, usually advertising through social media. That’s why we are working hard to identify them, uncover their illegal activities and bring them before the courts. That work continues.”
For information about the council’s own bulky waste collection service, please visit here.