Fined man stands up to Luton Borough Council over flytipping penalty

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A man fined for flytipping the weekend after Christmas is challenging the council after claiming a recycling centre was overwhelmed.

Edmund O’Brien received notice of a fixed penalty after being spotted on CCTV leaving bags at the recycling facility at St Dominic’s Square on December 27 last year.

A total of 30 penalty notices were issued to flytippers caught out at the recycling centre in the weekend following Christmas

Mr O’Brien, of Sussex Close, was spotted placing his bags on top of containers. But claims he only did so as the containers were full to the brim. He said: “I feel the council’s enforcement department have reacted in a very heavy handed way in dealing with this.

“We took three or four bags of Christmas wrapping paper to our local recycling centre. When we got there we put our bags on top of the hundreds that were already there.

“We were totally unaware we had committed any offence... At no point did I think I was fly tipping or illegally depositing any illegal waste. I thought I was doing the right thing.”

A Luton Borough Council spokesman denied that the council’s provision for recycling had been overwhelmed after Christmas.

He said: “There is no reason for residents to dump at neighbourhood recycling centres. Kerbside collection crews take additional recycling from households over the Christmas period.

“Our cleansing division also implements extra servicing and collections at recycling centres to ensure that we deal with the additional volumes.Luton further provides two Household Waste Recycling Centres for excess recycling.

“Evidence from the recycling centres showed that there was large-scale dumping of DIY equipment, household items and domestic waste.

“Enforcement action can only be taken when there is evidence an offence has been committed.”

But Mr O’Brien said: “Before this has happened we used to recycle as much as we could including newspaper, clothes, shoes, bottles both glass and plastic and cans. Now we no longer do this in fear of the same thing happening again.”