Hospital is fly-tip victim

On the Clinical Waste Discussion Forum we frequently report regarding issues – let’s be ‘honest’, and call them failures – in the standard of clinical and related wastes management on wards and in the various departments, and further as these wastes pass sometimes precariously along the disposal chain to await uplift for final disposal.

Now it seems, the tables have been reversed and an NHS hospital has been the victim of fly-tipping.

Around 3.5 tonnes of building waste has been fly-tipped in the grounds of Stanmore’s Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital.

Somewhat regrettably, a householder has been fined more than £2,800 after inadvertently paying criminals to get rid of his building waste from home renovation works that was instead fly-tipped in the grounds of Stanmore’s Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital.

He was cold-called by three men in early February. They offered to remove the construction rubbish for £225, which he accepted, but the same afternoon the trio dumped all 3.5 tonnes at the hospital in Brockley Hill.

Harrow Council’s Enviro-crime team discovered paperwork among the waste and traced this back to the householder, and arranged for the mess to be cleared up at a cost to the taxpayer of £700. Subsequently, the accommodation manager at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital Trust, said a resident reported hearing a loud bang outside the hospital accommodation and saw a truck speeding away. The road was left blocked with building materials and other household items.

“Whilst moving the rubbish to the side of the road, we found emails, letters and a quote of works with contractor’s details. We immediately contacted the council and the Enviro-crime officer swiftly took over the investigation.

“I think we were all determined not to let the culprits get away with thinking they could dump their rubbish anywhere without any consequences.”

Ultimately, the householder was charged with ‘failing to take all reasonable measures to prevent a contravention of the Environment Protection Act by the unauthorised or harmful, treatment or disposal of waste’, and with ‘failing as an occupier of a domestic property to take all such measures available to you as were reasonable in the circumstances to secure that any transfer by you of household waste produced on the property was only to an authorised person or to a person for authorised transport purposes’.

At Willesden Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, September 3 he stated that not all the fly-tipped rubbish was his, but he was convicted of both counts.

Life’s a bitch, and guess what – the poor man had failed to get any names or check that the cold-callers were authorised to get rid of the waste. The three men are believed to be active criminals and have never been traced while he gets the fine and criminal record.

What is particularly disturbing is the approach of the hospital, who are of course quite right to investigate and report any fly-tipping occurrence on their premises. I just wonder if they would have been so quick to hold their hands up to any deficiency in the management of their own wastes, or instead place as much effort in strenuously denying any failures?



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