Ricky Benham, aged 44, of Victoria Road, Wargrave, Wokingham, was convicted at Reading Magistrates Court on 1 March 2019 after pleading guilty to failing to comply with the duty of care required under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, and for failing to register as a carrier of controlled waste before transporting the waste. Mr Benham was ordered to pay £1,030 in fines, surcharge and costs.
Mr Benham was prosecuted following an investigation by officers from the Public Protection Partnership Response Team supported by the Joint Case Management Unit for failing in his duty of care to carry and dispose of waste correctly. Mr. Benham pleaded guilty and was fined £500 and ordered to pay £30 in surcharges and £500 in costs.
In March 2018 a member of the public reported a large amount of waste at Green Lane, Wokingham. On investigation it was established that the waste belonged to a householder who had hired a skip from Mr Benham who at the time had a business called R B Skips. The householder paid Mr Benham £180 to collect the skip and its contents which consisted of suitcases, a radiator, cardboard boxes, a broken wardrobe and hard wall. Accepting guilt, Mr Benham denied that he had deposited the waste but did not provide an account as to how he arranged for its correct disposal.
Commenting on the case Cllr Iain McCracken, Chairman of the Joint Public Protection Committee, said “The duty of care with waste applies to everybody and a breach can be very serious as shown by the penalty in this case. It is important to ensure that anybody who takes your waste away is licensed to carry waste and that you get appropriate documentation. This fine sends a clear message to would-be perpetrators.”
The Public Protection Partnership is a shared service of Bracknell Forest Council, West Berkshire Council and Wokingham Borough Council and delivers trading standards, environmental health and licensing functions.