A Tewkesbury resident has received a custodial sentence after being reported for a serious environmental crime within the borough.

Tewkesbury Borough Council’s Environmental Services team worked together with Gloucestershire Police on this case, specifically the Tewkesbury Neighbourhood Team.

The inappropriate disposal of needles by Zoe Wilson – formerly of Davey Road, Tewkesbury and currently of no fixed abode – was discovered in a neighbour’s recycling bin. Zoe Wilson was later charged with disposing of controlled waste in a manner likely to cause harm to human health.

Councillor Jim Mason, lead member for Clean and Green Environment, says ‘Cases like this act as a reminder about everyone’s responsibility to keep our borough clean, safe, and free of potential hazards.

‘Fortunately, there were not awful consequences of Zoe’s actions, as nobody was injured by the needle that she disposed of incorrectly.’

All householders and organisations have a legal responsibility to ensure that all of their waste is disposed of properly. Under the Duty of Care regulations, all householders need to ensure that their waste is passed to authorised carriers only. If a householder fails to comply with the duty of care under section 34(2A) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 in England they could be faced with an unlimited fine.

This is the borough council’s first successful custodial sentence for an environmental crime. This sentence was charged under Section 33(1C) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

Zoe Wilson received a 12 week custodial sentence that has been suspended for 12 months. The magistrate ordered Zoe to stay out of trouble for the next 12 months to prevent serving time in prison. However, if she commits an offence within the next 12 months, the 12 weeks sentence will be activated and she will be sent to prison to serve it.

Cllr Mason adds: ‘We are grateful to the police and the courts for their swift actions in this case, and it serves as a timely reminder that fly-tipping or littering of any sort is a serious crime. Our teams will continue to work with partners in the borough to hold individuals and organisations accountable for their actions to ensure that we have a clean and safe environment for everyone.’

For more information about appropriate waste disposal, residents and businesses within Tewkesbury can visit Waste Aware — Tewkesbury Borough Council

Category: Environment