A Southampton man has been ordered to pay £1,000 after being caught dumping waste at a Picket Piece business in July 2019 – just minutes away from the recycling centre.

Mindaugas Zydelis pleaded guilty to the offence on Tuesday, March 2, after CCTV footage captured his van’s license plate. The 46-year-old said he had been asked by a friend to clear waste from a front garden and was told where to take it, but said he should have made further enquiries about where to go.

Basingstoke Magistrates’ Court fined Zydelis £500 and ordered him to pay £216 compensation to Andover Patio Centre and £284 in costs to the council.

Environmental portfolio holder, councillor Alison Johnston, said: “We cannot stress enough that if you fly-tip then we will do everything we possibly can to track you down and bring you to justice. There is simply no excuse. Why should others foot the bill to clear up after those despicable individuals who choose to flout the law.

“We will keep on prosecuting until we stamp this out for good. You will not get away with dumping your waste in Test Valley.”

Andover’s recycling centre, on Scott Close, is just a three minute drive from Andover Patio Centre, where the waste was dumped.

The items dumped at the scene included black refuse sacks containing food waste, plastic containers and other rubbish, children’s toys, and furniture including a wardrobe, chest of drawers and two sofas.

The news follows a number of recent reports of dumping in and around Andover. Two sisters from Romsey were ordered to pay £1,500 collectively after dumping waste on Cowdown Lane and in other areas of Test Valley, while Maneva Costell was fined a similar amount for dumping household waste outside Asda.

Fly-tipping in Hampshire has also come to the attention of the county council, who said they would step up action against the crime.

Councillor Rob Humby, Deputy Leader at Hampshire County Council, said: “There is no excuse for fly-tipping, it’s a criminal offence, and we are committed to working with our partners and Hampshire’s communities to tackle this blight on our countryside.

“Fly-tipping is clearly a lucrative source of income for organised criminal gangs, and we must be clear that this is what we’re talking about – criminal activity. In fact, the rise in tonnages of fly-tipped waste we see in these recent figures can be directly linked to a single organised crime gang operating in the South East which dumped 30 tonnes of shredded waste at three sites in Hampshire. Without this, the amount of fly-tipping in Hampshire would have continued to decrease for the seventh consecutive year.”