A pair of fly-tippers who posed on Facebook as legitimate waste carriers were rumbled in an undercover sting operation.
Nathan Wilson and Kimberley Angell, from Pontefract, were caught out by council officers who put a tracking device in a large heap of rubbish they were paid to collect.
The pair came to the attention of the authorities after they took £50 to dispose of waste belonging to a couple in Airedale, who had believed Wilson and Angell had the correct licence to do the job.
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But the rubbish was instead dumped next to a block of flats, close to the tippers’ home in Pontefract town centre.
A council report by portfolio holder for communities Maureen Cummings described how, following that incident, a council officer posing as a customer paid Wilson and Angell to take a pile of rubbish, which was placed in an empty garage belonging to Wakefield District Housing (WDH).
A monitoring device placed within the waste showed it stayed inside the couple’s van for 24 hours before they drove it to the Warwick Estate in Knottingley. There, they dumped the rubbish onto an area off Windermere Drive which backs onto a farmer’s field.
In her report, Coun Cummings said: “On April 26 2018 both Wilson and Angell attended the Police HQ at Normanton and were separately interviewed, giving different accounts to what had occurred.
“Both were reported for the offences disclosed. Neither had a trade waste carriers licence or kept waste transfer notes.
“Most importantly, under new powers their van with which they had committed the offences was for the time being confiscated and kept in our custody.”
At Leeds Magistrates’ Court in September, the pair pleaded guilty to the offences and were ordered to undertake 100 hours of community service each. They also had to pay £200 each in costs.
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Coun Cummings said the punishment would be an effective deterrent to others tempted to illegally ditch waste.
She added: “Soon the vehicle will be disposed of. It surely will send out an important message to fly-tippers as to what they may in the future expect.”