TWO builders have been slapped with heavy fines after pleading guilty to fly tipping near the River Lugg.

The pair were caught tipping building waste – which weighed in at 720 kilogrammes - by the river, which is a site of special scientific interest and conservation.

They were reported to Herefordshire Council by an Environment Agency Officer.

Samuel Cooper, 31, from Hereford and Matthew Taylor, 28, from Staunton-on-Wye, both pleaded guilty to failing to transfer controlled waste to an authorised person at Hereford Magistrates Court last Friday.

Cooper also pleaded guilty to transporting the waste without a waste carriers licence.

Mr Cooper received fines and costs totalling £2,382.50 while Mr Taylor received fines and costs totalling £1,882.50.

The maximum penalty for fly tipping is a £50,000 fine and/ or five years imprisonment.

Kay Champion, who heads the Environment Agency’s West Midlands waste crime team, said: “We are very pleased to have been able to help Herefordshire Council in taking this prosecution forward, and of course we’re pleased at the outcome. Fly tipping is not just an anti-social blight on our communities, it costs councils and landowners millions of pounds every year to clear up.

“We hope this case will send a very clear message to anyone thinking of breaking the law in this way.”

Marc Willimont, Herefordshire Council’s Head of Regulatory and Development Management Services, added: “Action will be taken against any trader, business or person which illegally disposes of their waste or does not ensure that their waste is collected by a registered waste carrier.

“We would encourage anybody who sees fly tipping in action to report the details directly to Herefordshire Council.”

The Community Protection Team will investigate fly tipping cases that are reported via the Herefordshire Council website or by calling 01432 261761.

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