News in brief 27/01/17

Croydon drive-by fly-tipper jailed for a year

A fly-tipper who made national news when he dumped three tonnes of building waste as he drove along a Croydon street has this week been jailed for a year.

George Smith was this week sentenced to 52 weeks in prison for four fly-tipping offences, one of which was captured on film, showing Smith tipping rubble, wood and other building waste in the middle of a road last March.

The case is the council’s 127th successful prosecution under its Don’t Mess With Croydon campaign, which combines enforcement with encouraging over 300 locals to lead community litter picks and educating people about recycling. Smith is the second person to be sent to prison for fly-tipping offences since the council launched the campaign in 2015.

As well as the jail time, two of Smith’s vans, worth £1,500 and £2,000, that were ‘used to facilitate criminal behaviour’ have been confiscated.

Smith, who defended himself in court, said that he had not been allowed by the Environment Agency to hold a waste carrying licence for over 10 years.

Sentencing Smith, District Judge Karen Hammond described his actions as “wanton vandalism” and said: “This is your third set of convictions for offences of this nature. My hope is to deter this type of offending by imposing this custodial sentence.

“This was your business model – to collect waste and dump it without cost to yourself. I'm satisfied that you made a significant income by fly-tipping, enriching yourself to the detriment of households and the community. This type of offending causes significant harm, and I’m sure there would have been substantial costs in clearing this volume of waste.”

More information about the Don’t Mess With Croydon campaign can be found on the Croydon Council website.

News in brief 27/01/17
Jonathan Lea
WRAP CFO Jonathan Lea retires

Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) CFO Jonathan Lea has retired, leaving the organisation last week after six years in the role.

Lea took on a lead role in WRAP’s transition to becoming a registered charity, allowing WRAP to diversify its funding base. As well as his work at the organisation, he acts as the Treasurer of the Galapagos Conservation Trust and a Trustee of the Internet Watch Foundation, where he chairs the Audit Committee.

Gareth Prior, currently Vice President, Strategy & Operations at publisher John Wiley & Sons, has been appointed as WRAP’s new Finance Director and will take up the role in May.

Commenting on the moves, WRAP CEO Marcus Gover said: “It’s been a real privilege to work with Jonathan over the past six years, and his contribution to WRAP’s strategy has been invaluable.

“I’m delighted to welcome Gareth on board and I look forward to working with him. I have no doubt he will be a real asset to the team, bringing with him a wealth of commercial and strategic experience that will help drive WRAP’s ambitions.” 

Prior added: “It’s been my personal ambition to bring my commercial skills to a respected and ambitious not-for-profit organisation that delivers meaningful social benefit and real change. My move to WRAP is an excellent opportunity, and I am thrilled to be joining at such an exciting time”.

More information about WRAP can be found on the organisation’s website.

Dates for Recycle Week 2017 announced

Recycle Week, the week of recycling action and events run by WRAP project Recycle Now, will run from Monday, 25 September until Sunday, 1 October this year.

The theme of the week, the 14th to be run by WRAP, has yet to be decided but will be announced shortly. 

More information about Recycle Week can be found on WRAP’s website.

Blue Peter badges to be made from yoghurt pots

BBC children’s show Blue Peter has announced that its famous badges will be going green, being made from old yoghurt pots.

News in brief 27/01/17
The programme, which since 1967 has shown kids how to craft things out of old toilet roll tubes and other household waste, will launch two of the new recycled Blue Peter badges this month, with all of the show’s other plastic badges set to follow later in the year.

In a renewed effort to give the show a more environmentally-friendly reputation, the plastic badges will be produced using material from the recycled pots in a UK factory powered by solar energy.

Blue Peter Editor Ewan Vinnicombe said: “Blue Peter has been showing young viewers how to make something magical out of everyday objects throughout its history. We are thrilled to be recognised as a leader in sustainable production and that we have been able to find a perfect way of sharing this with our viewers whilst having a positive impact on the environment at the same time.”