Press release

Plymouth fly-tipper banned from waste collection business

John McDonagh took cash from customers but dumped their rubbish in the Devon countryside instead of taking it to the tip.

Two very large builders' waste bags left by roadside next to fingerpost
One-tonne dumpy bags of waste fly-tipped by McDonagh at the entrance of a field near Marley Head, South Brent.

A fly-tipper who dumped household waste in the Devon countryside has been banned from working in the waste industry for 2 years. John McDonagh has also been ordered to carry out 100 hours unpaid work and pay £500 costs. The case was brought by the Environment Agency.

McDonagh, of Victoria Road, Plymouth, cold-called a householder offering to remove waste for cash. Instead of disposing of it properly, he fly-tipped it in the surrounding countryside.

The defendant was caught after he removed some old window frames and builders rubbish from a garden in Shaldon Crescent, Plymouth in November 2016. The owner agreed to pay him £50 upfront followed by another £50 when he returned from the tip with a receipt. McDonagh loaded the waste into his Ford Transit van and told the householder he would return for the rest of the waste.

However, he never returned and dumped the waste in Beara Lane near Marley Head, South Brent. It was later discovered by a man who found the access to his field blocked by 2 one-tonne dumpy bags of builders’ waste. One of the bags contained a delivery note from a bathroom company with a customer’s name and address on it.

The man reported the fly-tipping to South Hams District Council and handed over the invoice to the council. The householder who had been duped by McDonagh said he felt ‘disgusted’ and ‘ashamed’ when told his waste had been fly-tipped.

Adrian Evans of the Environment Agency said:

Householders have a responsibility to ensure their waste is disposed of correctly and doesn’t end up fly-tipped. If anyone offers to dispose of your waste in return for payment, make sure they are a registered waste carrier and don’t forget to ask for a receipt. If in doubt, don’t hand over your waste.

Appearing before Plymouth magistrates, John McDonagh pleaded guilty to depositing controlled waste contrary to Section 33(1)(a) and 33(6) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. He also admitted an offence under section 1 of the Fraud Act 2006 of dishonestly misleading a person into thinking their waste was being transported to a licenced tip for disposal.

In addition to being ordered to carry out unpaid work and pay £500 costs, McDonagh was made the subject of a 2-year Criminal Behaviour Order prohibiting him from being involved in any business involving the collection, transport or disposal of controlled waste. He is also banned for offering building or home maintenance services.

Published 1 November 2017