In one of the largest fly-tipping cases ever investigated within the County Borough, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council has successfully prosecuted two local men who illegally dumped large amounts of household and commercial waste.
Ronnie Junior Jones, aged 29, of Maxwell Street, Ferndale, and Luke Samuel Davies, aged 27, of Brithweunydd Road, Trealaw, were sentenced at Swansea Crown Court on Friday, April 12.
The judge handed both Jones and Davies 12-month custodial sentences, suspended for 18 months. Both individuals must carry out 180 hours of unpaid work relating to the environment – for example, litter picking. They have also each been ordered to pay clean-up costs of £500.
Following sentencing, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council described fly-tipping as unnecessary, and a blight on the environment which costs the Local Authority up to £1m each year.
Davies pleaded guilty to dumping 36 black waste bags, 14 bags of recycling, and four carrier bags, all containing commercial waste and some household rubbish, on land adjacent to Tonyrefail Road, south of Pontypridd.
Jones, meanwhile, pleaded guilty to depositing general household waste in forestry near Graigwen, Pontypridd.
Both men also pleaded guilty to joint charges of dumping commercial waste and dumping household waste on the same forestry land.
In addition, Davies pleaded guilty to eight counts of the offence of failing to prevent the escape of waste in his control. He was granted a further suspended prison sentence of eight months, to run concurrently with the sentence outlined above.
Investigations found that 150 bags of commercial waste, along with domestic waste, were also discovered on forestry land between Graigwen and Llanwonno. Both men pleaded guilty to illegally dumping the waste.
Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, which investigated one of its largest-ever cases of fly-tipping and brought about the successful prosecution, said both offenders deceived local residents into believing that waste taken by the pair would be legally disposed of.
Jones and Davies operated an illegal waste and scrap collecting business, advertising on social media and charging up to £350 to remove the waste, implying that a large portion of this payment was due to ‘tipping costs.’ But instead they drove to secluded areas within Rhondda Cynon Taf to illegally dispose of the waste.
Nigel Wheeler, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Group Director – Prosperity, Development and Frontline Services, said: “We are content that today’s legal proceedings show the Council’s zero-tolerance approach to fly-tipping, and sends home the hard-hitting message that harming our environment in this way is totally unnecessary and will not be tolerated.
“However, we believe that people responsible for this kind of action, which deliberately damages our beautiful environment, should be subject to the very highest consequences available to the Court for this crime – which includes a custodial sentence.
“We receive regular reports of fly-tipping across our County Borough, but this court case shows that we are not afraid to take action to eradicate the problem.
“Fly-tipping is a blight on our environment and very costly to investigate and clear up. The total cost to the Local Authority for this investigation alone is well in excess of £4,500.
“The removal of fly-tipping costs Rhondda Cynon Taf Council around £1m each year – this money could be invested in other Council services during these tough times.
“The Council provides weekly kerbside recycling collections, continues its black bag collection and has Community Recycling Centres across Rhondda Cynon Taf, where residents can take their items for free.
"Bulky item collection can also be arranged – so therefore, there is absolutely no excuse for fly-tipping.”