Six fridges and fridge-freezes were found dumped in the back lane at Sixth Street, Horden, on 28 March last year and CCTV footage of a vehicle led Durham County Council officers to Josh Hall, of Sheriff’s Moor Avenue, Easington Lane.
Twenty-six-year-old Hall told wardens that his friend, Bradley Middleton, had been using the van and that it had only been returned to him on the day he was contacted by the council.
Middleton, of Tay Street, Houghton, was invited to attend an interview but failed to attend that and a rescheduled interview.
Magistrates in Peterlee were told Hall interviewed under caution in May 2021 and again named 35-year-old Middleton as one of the men in the CCTV footage, admitted knowing the vehicle would be used to collect scrap or household waste and not asking if Middleton had a waste carrier’s licence or insurance to drive the van.
He also said Middleton did not have a driving licence.
Hall admitted to knowingly causing controlled waste to be deposited.
Magistrates were told Hall had a previous conviction for fly tipping and was fined £500, ordered to pay £350 in court costs and a £50 victim surcharge, a total of £900.
Middleton failed to attend court and was fined £660, ordered to pay £280 towards costs and a £66 victim surcharge, totalling £1,006.
Ian Hoult, Durham County Council’s neighbourhood protection manager, said afterwards: “Fly tipping is an issue that we take very seriously. It is a blight on our landscape that will not be tolerated here in County Durham.
“We are grateful to the majority of people for disposing of their waste responsibly.
“We would remind everyone that their waste is their responsibility and there are many ways to dispose of waste correctly.”
He added: “We would also encourage people to ensure that their vehicles are not being used for fly tipping or waste crime offences as we can also seize, and hold any vehicle used for these purposes for up to 15 days.”
To find out more about fly tipping and how to report it, go to www.durham.gov.uk/flytipping