The owner of a Selly Oak-based beauty salon has today (9 September 2015) been ordered to pay more than £3,000 after pleading guilty to illegally dumping waste from her business.
Susan Le Poidevin, 50, was prosecuted by Birmingham City Council after two sacks of waste were found on the pavement in Bournbrook outside 596 Bristol Road, the contents of which linked them to her business Tan & Beauty, based at 602 Bristol Road.
Le Poidevin was fined £525 and ordered to pay £2,734.20p towards court costs and a £53 victim surcharge.
Environmental health officers were carrying out bag searches in the area on the day the sacks were discovered (2 December 2014) as it had been previously identified as a problem location for sacks and rubbish being out on the pavement when they shouldn’t be – something the council is keen to address given that cleaner streets are often raised as a top priority by residents.
Birmingham Magistrates’ Court was told that during their investigation of the two bags, the officers discovered waxing strips, boxes for latex gloves, tissues, bottles of spray tan liquid, tubs of wax and receipts for Le Tan Fastique (a former name for the business) at 602 Bristol Road.
Officers visited Le Tan Fastique and asked for waste transfer notes to determine how the company was legally disposing of its waste (it is a legal requirement that businesses should be able to produce notes going back two years within seven days if requested by the council or Environment Agency). It was established that no waste contract was in place and that at the time black sacks were being placed on the street.
A notice prohibiting further offences of abandoned waste was left for the owner explaining the bags should not be put out and that a legitimate means of disposing of the waste should be provided.
Under interview on 20 January, Le Poidevin confirmed she was the sole owner of the business and said she had been away from the shop at the time setting up a new business in Nuneaton – adding that her employees must have run out of pre-paid business waste sacks and mistakenly put out the offending sacks, a contravention of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
However records indicated that business waste sacks had not been purchased since September 2011, meaning she did not have in place any arrangements for the disposal of her business waste from 2012. Pay-as-you-go trade waste sacks sold by the council’s commercial trade waste team are date-stamped and can only be used in the year printed on them.
Cllr Lisa Trickett, Cabinet Member for Sustainability, said: “Ensuring we have cleaner streets is regularly raised as a top priority by citizens, businesses and visitors to Birmingham.
“It is never acceptable for businesses to dump waste on our streets. Prosecutions such as this show our stance on litter and the incorrect disposal of refuse.
“We are determined to claim the streets back for everyone to enjoy – but it needs everyone to play a part. Businesses cannot shy away from their responsibility, regardless of if they are a huge multinational or a small local firm, as is the case here.”
Since the start of the investigation, Le Poidevin has signed up to the council’s trade waste service, meaning her business is now legally-compliant.
Cllr Barbara Dring, Chair of the Licensing and Public Protection Committee, added: “It has been suggested this case was about the wrong colour bags being presented for collection. Let me be clear – this is about a business that was not disposing of its waste in a responsible and lawful way, having a detrimental impact on the local environment.
“Businesses must not use the domestic collection service; they have to take out a separate contract for their business waste – not doing so is an offence and has been since the Environmental Protection Act came in as long ago as 1990.
“Those firms that do not have adequate arrangements in place are essentially making the citizens of Birmingham pay for their waste to be collected when it is presented at the kerbside like domestic household rubbish. They are also putting law-abiding firms that do have trade waste contracts at a commercial disadvantage as they seek to bypass the legislation that is in place.”
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