The owner of a house clearance company whose sub-contractor dumped household items in several streets has been prosecuted.

Jeffrey Avery of Avery Associates in Thirsk Road, Mitcham, pleaded guilty to failing in his duty of care and was ordered to pay a total of £570.

Bromley Council's enviro-crime enforcement officer was alerted to fly-tipping in Eden Way, Beckenham in February and found several black backs, household waste and old newspapers had been dumped.

Several roads nearby were blighted by other fly-tipped household items, including more black bags, wood, cardboard, wallpaper, wine bottles, paint pots and old furniture.

The rubbish was tracked back to a home in Beckenham where investigators revealed that the householder had died and the family had arranged for the house to be cleared out by Avery Associates.

Jeffrey Avery was contacted and stated that he had given the work to somebody he had not used before and admitted that he did not obtain a waste transfer note as proof either.

Avery was able to provide an invoice and contract details of his sub-contractor.

Through further investigation, it was discovered that there was no record of them or any waste carrier operating from the address, which in fact was a playing field.

Prosecution followed under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, section 34, which states that residents and businesses must keep their waste safe, deal with it responsibly and only give it to authorised waste carriers.

Avery was fined £250 at Bromley Magistrates' Court in June, as well as being ordered to pay a £30 surcharge, £200 costs and £90 compensation to the council.

Councillor Colin Smith, Bromley’s executive councillor for environment, said: “This prosecution serves as a stark reminder that we all have a responsibility and a duty of care to make sure our waste – whether old furniture, glass bottles, newspapers, grass clippings or whatever – is disposed of legally and without harming the environment.

“When you give your waste to somebody else to dispose of, you are still personally responsible for what they do with it, so always be sure to check that whoever you hire is a legitimate and registered waste carrier and that you are given the correct paperwork to serve as proof that the waste has been transferred responsibly.”

Residents and businesses are advised to always use registered waste carriers, check their credentials at or call the Environment Agency hotline on 03708 506 506, and always obtain a waste transfer note as proof of transfer to an authorised person.

Failure to do so could mean prosecution and a fine of up to £5,000.