Takeaway in a bad Plaice following £3k fine

Published Thursday, 30th January 2020

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A takeaway based in Westcliff has been ordered to pay over £3,000 for failing to dispose of their commercial waste appropriately.

In June 2019, Southend-on-Sea Borough Council received a series of complaints regarding Westcliff Fish Bar, London Road, Westcliff, around the disposal of their commercial waste. The business was alleged to have been disposing of their commercial waste within their general household waste. This is not permitted under the Duty of Care regulations – waste produced during business activities cannot be mixed with household waste. Local residents claimed the contents of the commercial waste consisted of food waste, which was being scavenged prior to collection by animals and wildlife, leading to significant waste being strewn across the local area.

The council’s environmental care team responded to the reports by engaging with the business and providing guidance on the correct management and disposal of their commercial waste. However, following continued refusal to engage, the business was issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice for the repeated littering of their local area. The business was also ordered to provide details of their waste collection arrangements, known as a waste transfer note, a statutory obligation for all businesses.

As the business failed to pay the Fixed Penalty Notice and also failed to provide information on their Waste Transfer Note, the council proceeded with legal action and the case was heard at Southend Magistrates Court on Wednesday 22 January 2020. No representative of the business attended and as such the business was fined £1,500 for failing to pay the Fixed Penalty Notice, and a further £1,500 fine for failing to have appropriate arrangements in place regarding their commercial waste disposal. Westcliff Fish Bar was also ordered to pay £195 in costs and £150 victim surcharge.

Cllr Carole Mulroney, cabinet member for environment and planning, said: “Every business in the borough has a duty of care to manage and dispose of their commercial waste appropriately. This does not mean trying to hide it within household waste to avoid paying for commercial collections, or allowing it to litter their local community.

“I am pleased that local residents were confident enough to provide us with the relevant information so that we have been able to prosecute the business. We must make clear, we will only pursue legal action as a last option, we will always seek to advise and support businesses in these types of situations. However, after being repeatedly ignored, we had no alternative but to take this to the courts.”

For more information about commercial waste and the legal responsibilities around waste disposal for businesses, visit our Commercial Waste pages.

To raise reports of fly-tipping and littering, please use MySouthend.