Press release

Waste crime: Bucks man 'after quick buck' fined

A High Wycombe man has been convicted after cameras caught him dumping several tipper-truck loads of waste in north London.


Bucks swizz: McDonagh dumped waste illegally he collected from innocent householders

CCTV video filmed by Enfield Council showed John Steven McDonagh discarding waste, including a fridge freezer, at Montagu Industrial Estate in Edmonton. The 25-year-old was seen on the footage making a quick getaway every time once he’d dropped his load.

McDonagh, of Alexandra Park, High Wycombe, appeared in Highbury Corner magistrates’ court after an Environment Agency investigation with the council revealed McDonagh’s waste crime activities.

The court heard McDonagh left mixed waste, including construction materials, and even a fridge in January and February 2018, on both a public road and private land at the junction of Pegamoid Road, Dane Road and Barnes Road in Edmonton.

McDonagh used a distinctive Ford Transit tipper van to carry out the crimes. Despite the vehicle not having registration plates, the Environment Agency still managed to track him down as part of the investigation.

Emma Viner, area enforcement manager for the Environment Agency, said:

McDonagh’s actions showed blatant disregard for the environment and local community in order to make a quick buck, dumping household waste on both the public highway and on private land.

Through the persistent intervention of our officers and by working together with, in this case, Enfield Council, the Metropolitan Police and DVLA, we are successfully disrupting organised criminality and bringing those responsible to justice.

Our conviction of McDonagh shows we pursue law-breakers from the crime to the courtroom. We urge members of the public to help us reduce waste crime by using a registered waste carrier, checking their validity on

The successful prosecution was part of Operation Angola, a collaboration of various agencies launched in 2017, and led by the Environment Agency to target criminals dumping significant amounts of waste across the South East.

Cllr Guney Dogan, Enfield Council’s cabinet member for environment and sustainability, said:

This was a calculated crime that wrecked the environment in Edmonton, and a significant amount of time and effort was required to clear up the waste after it was dumped.

We are pleased the perpetrator of this crime has been brought to justice, and we’d urge anyone who knows the identity of fly-tippers to let us know so we can seek further prosecutions to send out the message that such behaviour is criminal, unacceptable and likely to lead to further enforcement action.

McDonagh pleaded guilty to committing waste offences in January and February 2018. On 12 September 2019, magistrates at Highbury Corner fined him £400, with costs of £260 and a victim surcharge of £40.

Published 24 September 2019