Dorset Council’s Waste Enforcement and Legal teams scored another victory in court this week, as a rogue trader was prosecuted for transporting and disposing of commercial waste at a Household Recycling Centre (HRC, or “the tip”), as well as failing to provide correct paperwork.

On Tuesday 22 March at Weymouth Magistrates Court, Mr Nigel Choules (68, of Gallwey Road, Weymouth) pleaded guilty to:

  1. Carriage of controlled waste without the proper tier of licence
  2. Unlawfully depositing controlled waste at the Portland HRC
  3. Failing to produce, on request, waste transfer notes for the waste he carried.

Mr. Choules operated two businesses, Total Property Maintenance and A.2.B Removals. In July 2020, Waste Enforcement officers were contacted by an informant alerting them that Mr. Choules was collecting commercial waste and taking it into Portland HRC to dispose of it for free.

Commercial waste – waste that has been collected or produced via a private business and/or paid for accordingly – is required to be taken to suitably licensed sites and its disposal paid for. Using publicly funded facilities to dispose of commercial waste leaves the Council Taxpayer to foot the bill for waste that someone has been paid privately to collect and correctly dispose of.

Image of the defendant with another male at Portland Household Recycling Centre, unloading a sofa and chair from a trailer which was attached to a Citroën Picasso car.

Mr. Choules was found to have made many recorded visits to HRCs at Weymouth and Portland, using his Ford Transit vehicle. Waste Enforcement officers asked to see the defendant’s authority to transport controlled waste. When this was not provided, the defendant was fined for this failure to produce this document. His vehicle permit was cancelled, and it was made clear to Mr. Choules that the Dorset Council’s HRCs he had used are not licensed to receive commercial waste.

Mr. Choules then successfully applied for a lower-tier waste carrier licence and a new permit for his vehicle. However, neither of these allowed the defendant to transport commercial waste or drop it at an HRC.

A further tip-off in June 2021 revealed that the defendant appeared to now be using a large silver van to collect waste for money, and then transferring it into a Citroen Picasso car to transport it to the HRC. Following an investigation by Waste Enforcement officers, this car was seized under Section 34 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. During a search of the vehicle, documents were recovered linked to Total Property Maintenance and A.2.B Removals.

Picture of business signage on the side of the defendant’s Ford Transit van.

In July 2021, Mr. Choules attended the Trading Standards Offices at Dorchester and was interviewed under caution. The defendant stated he had been self-employed for 15 years and during that time he had engaged in waste removal as a part of his business, acknowledging that this was commercial waste as he had been paid to take it away. He confirmed that he used his van to collect items and then used a Citroen car to take items to the HRC as he could not go to the site with his van.

The defendant claimed to be unaware of the rules around collecting, transporting, and disposing of commercial waste, despite being informed of these previously. Following a further challenge from Waste Enforcement officers that he was fully aware he was breaking the rules, he stated “Alright, I’ve been sort of dishonest, but I didn’t realise that I couldn’t do it”.

Mr. Choules was sentenced to a fine of £720 for the three offences. He was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £72, and contribution to costs of £200.

Cllr Laura Miller, Dorset Council’s Portfolio Holder for Customer and Community Services, said:

“This prosecution should serve as a warning to anyone who attempts to use our publicly-funded recycling centres to dispose of waste that they have been paid to deal with. We will not tolerate this illegal behaviour and will prosecute anyone trying to flout the rules.

The public can help us tackle these rogue traders by suspecting all waste carriers until they have provided their licence, checking their licence details on the public register for waste carriers, and refusing unexpected offers to take your waste away. You should also ask how your rubbish will be disposed of, and always get an invoice or receipt for the waste they’re taking, including their contact details.

I know I speak for most Dorset residents when I say I do not want my Council Tax supplementing the illegal activities of those trying to increase their profits by avoiding waste disposal costs. I’d like to thank all the officers involved for their hard work in bringing this successful prosecution to court.”


To report this post you need to login first.
Previous articleThe Russian Oligarchs glitzy, floating prisons or hugely expensive. white elephants?
Next articleGateway sculpture celebrating Poole’s maritime and shipbuilding heritage unveiled at Hunger Hill in Poole
Dorset Eye
Dorset Eye is an independent not for profit news website built to empower all people to have a voice. To be sustainable Dorset Eye needs your support. Please help us to deliver independent citizen news... by clicking the link below and contributing. Your support means everything for the future of Dorset Eye. Thank you.