Three South Tyneside residents have been fined after ignoring requests to provide information about fly tipping.
Mercedes Foreman, 20, of Vine Street in South Shields was fined £440 and was ordered to pay costs of £100 and a victim surcharge of £44.
South Shields Magistrates Court was told that clear sacks filled with domestic waste and nappies were found in the back lane of Vine Street. Paperwork in the waste led council officers to the home of the defendant. However, having been served with a Notice under Section 108, she ignored requests to attend an interview, thereby committing an offence under Section 110 of the Environment Act 1995.
Magistrates also fined Lorraine Bruce £440 after waste and debris was found at the side of her property in Kirkley Avenue, South Shields. Despite repeated attempts to contact the defendant, she ignored all requests, leading to a notice being served under Section 80 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, requiring her to take certain steps to remedy the position. When the council officer visited the area two weeks later the bags of rubbish were still there and food waste was on the ground. Despite assurances that the waste would be removed when the inspector visited again he found the bags had not been taken away as instructed. The defendant was also ordered to pay costs of £100 and a victim surcharge of £44.
Shaun Mills, 31, of Lemon Street in South Shields was also fined by magistrates for failing to provide information about fly tipping. The court was told that paperwork in domestic waste abandoned at the back of Lemon Street led officers to the defendant.
Mills admitted the rubbish was his and agreed to remove the rubbish immediately. However, he failed to do so, leaving the Council with the task of clearing away the waste. He was served with a Notice under Section 108 of the Environment Act 1995 requiring him to attend for interview but made no attempt to contact council offices, thereby committing an offence under Section 110 of the Environment Act 1995. The case against him was proven in his absence and magistrates fined him £120 and ordered him to pay costs of £100 and a victim surcharge of £30.
A spokesman for the Council said: "It is completely unacceptable for a tiny minority of residents to blight the beauty of our Borough in this way.
"We already spend around £2.2 million a year keeping the area clean and tidy and fly tipping simply places an additional burden on taxpayers who ultimately have to bear the cost of removing this type of waste and investigating these offences."