Not thinking outside the box

What the hell has gone wrong with local councils? Now they try to prosecute a business owner for giving away cardboard boxes after one of them was discovered among some illegally dumped waste.

Waltham Forrest Council have apparently spent £15,000 of our money bringing this childish prosecution. Businesses up and down the country give used cardboard boxes to the public. The company I work for does the same and I have taken many.

If one of these boxes should end up being illegally dumped by the recipient, it isn't the fault of the person who gave them the box.

I think I know where this stems from though. There was this story in our local paper a while back. A hairdresser was taking the hair clippings home and putting them on his compost heap. The council found out (lord knows how) and threatened him with prosecution if he didn't stop it. They also told him he wasn't allowed to take home newspapers he bought for the customers.

The reason given is that this is all 'Trade Waste'. Trade waste must be collected by the council for a fee.

There are two things local councils love most, money and control. Therefore they insist that all trade waste must be collected by them and they charge for the privilege. It's like an old style protection racket.

A Blackburn with Darwen council spokesman said Mr Stone had been acting illegally because businesses had a legal duty to ensure their waste was not harming environment.

He added: “They cannot simply take it home, no matter what it is.”

He also admitted that all the trade waste is thrown in land fill.

So here we have it. Linda Bracey has been taken to court because she is not disposing of trade waste in the approved manner and within her responsibilities to ensure her business waste is not harming the environment.

Local councils may be this stupid but at least the judiciary isn't quite so brain dead (yet). The judge in this case managed to grasp the point that the prosecution missed.

‘Packaging such as boxes received by a company like Electro Signs is not waste when it is delivered to the company. Nor do boxes become waste as soon as the contents are removed.

‘If a company chooses to keep and re-use boxes, they remain the property of the company and an asset. If the company keeps boxes for its own use but then chooses to give or sell boxes to another party that is not discarding them.’

Common sense, but councils hate that. Somehow this silly case managed to make it all the way to a jury trial at the cost of £15k in taxpayers cash, but the judge directed the jury to be done with this tomfoolery.

The council were not amused.

Waltham Forest councillor Clyde Loakes described the outcome of the case as ‘incredibly disappointing’.

Mr Loakes added: ‘Our residents are fed up with people treating our streets as a rubbish dump, which is why this council has carried out a well-publicised drive to wipe out environmental crime.’

Bloody moron. Try going after the fly tippers then! And don't try to blame this bollocks on your residents. You brought this prosecution, not them, they just had to pay for it.

Duh, I'm a moron
You own the people of Waltham Forrest fifteen grand Mr Loakes. Pay them their money and then clear out your desk. People like you do not deserve to be in public service.

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