Hazardous fly-tip leads to suspended prison sentence for Nottingham man

A Nottingham man who admitted fly-tipping five large piles of dangerous waste including asbestos has been handed an eight-month suspended prison sentence.

Nathan Cossey dumped the items near Colwick Park, off Daleside Road East, over a period of two weeks and Nottingham taxpayers were left with a bill in excess of £5,300 to have the rubbish removed by specialists.

Officers from Nottingham City Council’s Community Protection team acted on complaints from the public in early August 2018 and gathered intelligence which led them to believe that Cossey would be at the site again on August 28.

On arrival that day, they witnessed Cossey and another man emptying waste from the back of a van. After claiming to have a waste licence but for another vehicle, he admitted to officers that he had seen others fly-tipping at the site and thought he would ‘try his luck’.

Further investigations revealed that Cossey, aged 32, of Minver Crescent, Aspley, had been offering waste-removal services, and bags of rubble similar to those dumped near Colwick Park were found at an address in St Ann’s.

The council’s Licensing department confirmed Cossey did not hold a scrap metal licence and had not applied for one. The Environment Agency reported there was no relevant permit or registered exemption held with them, nor any record that Cossey had ever been registered as a waste carrier.

Community Protection officers found that Cossey had collected further waste from the address in St Ann’s since August 28 and a demand was issued to him under section 34 of the Environmental Protection Act to provide waste transfer documentation relating to rubbish taken from that address. This was not received and a £300 fixed-penalty notice was issued on 12 February 2019. 

On 28 February 2019, a reminder letter was sent but the fixed-penalty remained unpaid and no waste documentation was received by the council.

Cossey plead guilty at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court to illegally depositing waste on a land without an environmental permit, under section 33 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, and failing to provide waste transfer documentation on demand.

At Nottingham Crown Court today (January 27), Cossey was handed an eight-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months; a £5,000 compensation order to be repaid to the City Council within a year; and 200 hours of unpaid work for the fly-tipping. He received a £100 fine for failing to produce required documentation on demand.

Councillor David Mellen, Leader of Nottingham City Council and ward councillor for Dales, said: “This is a significant result for the authority and the sentence sends a very strong message that we will not tolerate this type of behaviour which potentially puts people’s health at risk.

“Fly-tipping is a blight on any community but this pile of rubbish contained asbestos, which could have had serious consequences. The council had to pay more than £5,300 to have the waste removed safely.

“Mr Cossey showed scant regard for any of this and repeatedly refused to engage with our officers in the aftermath, failing to attend six meetings and returning correspondence marked ‘not at this address’.

“We reiterate that taking legal action is a last resort but we make no apologies for bringing Mr Cossey before the courts. We are pleased with the result and hope that the sentence acts as a deterrent to anyone else considering dumping rubbish in our city.”

Dave Halstead, Director of Neighbourhood Services, said: “Fly-tipping can cause significant environmental damage and is often harmful to wildlife. We will always work to identify culprits and are unrelenting in seeking evidence and taking appropriate action.

“This waste contained dangerous items and presented a risk to those tasked with removing it. There was also a significant cost to the local taxpayer to employ specialist to carry out this work.”

Anyone who wants to report a fly-tip should call 0115 915 2020 or visit https://www.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/reportantisocial 

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