Series investigating Britain's waste dumpers. The incredible story of the woman who for months threw her household rubbish over the fence in to her neighbour's garden.
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Every day, a never-ending war is being waged to clean up Britain.
It's a massive problem. People live with the mess others make.
It's horrible. Horrible. We should be proud of the area we live in.
From the tons of cigarette butts, dogs' mess and household rubbish
-to mountains of tyres and skiploads of builders' waste...
-Fly tippers out to be prosecuted. Fine them.
Your pocket hurts.
This is just beyond my comprehension.
We're on the front line of the clear-up and the fightback
with the dedicated teams tracking down the rogues and putting the Great back into Britain.
..if you fail to mention something you later rely on in court.
On today's programme, we're off to the beach, but be careful where you put your towel down.
Bits of fishing net. Cotton bud sticks. Rubber. Cigarette butts. Shotgun cartridge.
And a police raid on ten illegal scrap yards uncovers an environmental catastrophe.
The surface water drains run straight through to the river,
so this, with oil everywhere, is going to cause a major problem.
Welcome to the dirty world of Filthy Rotten Scoundrels.
This is Blaby, a district on the southern edge of Leicester, in the middle of England.
It's a pretty typical sort of place. Typical English countryside,
typical high street... and typical fly-tipped rubbish. Disgusting!
Last year, Blaby District Council spent more than £20,000 clearing up rubbish
dumped illegally on their patch. 20 grand for one small area. What a waste of Council Tax money.
You see loads of tyres and people littering and stuff.
-Rugs and carpets in big waste bins.
It just spoils the countryside.
But girl power has come to Blaby. Meet Environmental Protection Officers Kirsty, Helen, Jo
and the two Hannahs. What they really want is to run the filthy, rotten scoundrels out of town.
We're on shift with each of them today. First up, Kirsty Odell-Burley.
Every day is different, so you're not stuck in an office doing the same thing
day in, day out. It's really good.
It's just sort of satisfying to carry out your work and make a difference to the environment
and the area we all live in.
Today, Kirsty's on the trail of these things - adverts for services, gigs and other events
are stuck up illegally all over. They can damage public property and in inappropriate places,
like this, they can cause a hazard by distracting drivers.
They're a big problem round this area. We're on a main junction
from the M1 into Leicestershire.
The council gets at least one complaint a fortnight from members of the public annoyed by these.
So Kirsty has a cunning plan. You're not going to believe quite how cunning.
That's right. Kirsty puts her own stickers all over the posters stuck up illegally.
-How cheeky is that?
-So I'm out here today to put these cancelled stickers
over the sign. So obviously people who were anticipating going to the event
will think the event's been cancelled. They won't turn up and the organisers will lose money.
I like your style, Kirsty - hitting scoundrels where it hurts, in the pocket.
That should make them think twice about putting these up next time.
You can just take them down, but people just keep putting them up, so we're not punishing them.
But there is one thing bugging me here. How shall I put it?
It's not actually true to say it's been cancelled or postponed.
If you look closely, it says the poster has been cancelled. We're being a little bit cheeky.
Cheeky? I'll say! Now that's what I call small print.
-The point is, is it working?
-It's beginning to prove quite successful
and it's reducing the amount of fly posters we are getting, which is good.
It's not just fly posters who are getting their comeuppance.
Fly tippers had better be on their guard, too - Helen Chalk is on your case.
Today she's following up all the new reports of rubbish just dumped on the streets.
The council dealt with almost 400 separate reports of fly-tipped rubbish last year.
That's more than one a day. Unbelievable. About a quarter of reports are for single items,
like this mattress. Just lazy dumping of stuff that no one can be bothered to take to the tip.
Unfortunately, the delivery note doesn't identify who the person responsible is.
It's just a docket.
But people with bigger loads to dispose of often make their way to beauty spots like this one
where they try to get rid of their rubbish without anyone seeing them.
It's Helen's job to try to hunt for clues that might reveal who is responsible
for this antisocial behaviour.
There's no names and addresses. I thought there might have been something, but there isn't.
What we'll have to do is get District Cleansing to come out and clean this up.
It's frustrating work. Blaby District Council spends hundreds of pounds every single week
cleaning up dumped rubbish. Helen's got no time for fly-tippers.
They haven't got any respect for the environment. It is a nice spot.
They just come down here and throw out their litter. No respect for the countryside whatsoever.
No respect and no shame.
This small pile of rubbish has been dumped at the side of the lane, but hidden away in a ditch nearby
is a much bigger pile of rubbish.
Oh, it stinks, doesn't it?
Normally, large quantities of rubbish are commercial waste.
Unscrupulous businesses dumping rubbish to save themselves the cost of doing it properly.
But today Helen gets a surprise.
This is just domestic rubbish.
I mean, it could have gone out with the bins, so I don't understand why people would dump it.
Some people have no common sense.
Fancy driving all the way out to a beauty spot like this to dump rubbish
that the council would take away for free anyway!
Hopefully, something in here will identify...who is responsible.
Because it's not just a lack of common sense. This is illegal
-and Helen's determined to track down whoever's done this.
-That's just pizza, dirty nappies.
The remnants of some hanging baskets. They've had a clear out.
Mmm. A pizza-eating gardener who is a parent to a young baby.
Something tells me we'll need some more clues if we're going to find the filthy rotter responsible.
Obviously, it will attract vermin
and foxes, cats, flies...
Did the person who did this ever stop to think about any of this?
I doubt it.
I thought we had a letter then.
-This had better be worth all the filthy rummaging.
-Here we go.
We've got an address here, so that's good.
We can write to this person. I'll just take a photo of that
then we will perhaps write to her and ask her to explain
how her rubbish came to end up in the ditch here.
Later in the programme, the detective work goes hi-tech with the hidden cameras.
Up a little bit. Down a bit.
But what will they capture on film?
Ahh! The British seaside.
Us Brits love to be on the beach, sunning ourselves, handkerchief on head, bodies going red.
Fish and chips for tea. And, inevitably, sand in your sandwiches.
But, sadly, on most British beaches today, it's not just sand you'll find in your sandwich.
That's a shotgun cartridge.
And some bottle tops.
A piece of plastic.
This is a cotton bud stick. That's come through sewage treatment.
Oh, another tampon applicator.
Rubber. Chuck that overboard and it'll be around for a long time.
Bits of fishing net.
We don't want to see any of this on the beach at all. No drinking straws, bottle caps, rubber.
Disgusting. And every last bit of that rubbish has been dropped by someone
who just thinks it'll get washed away and they don't have to worry.
In Pembrokeshire in West Wales, the locals have had enough and today they're doing their bit
to get the beach cleaned up.
Today we've got Monkton community who have come to clean the beach.
It's great to see so many people coming out and getting involved, actually, and just having a go.
Galvanised by the Marine Conservation Society, young and old are out in force.
These are my kind of people.
We get so much litter on the beach and it's things like public litter.
Things like sweet wrappers, bottle tops and crisp packets.
If somebody throws away their litter, somebody else has to pick up after them.
Why they think that somebody else has to do that, I don't know.
If we all just put our litter in our pockets and took it home, it would be much easier for everybody.
It's just sheer laziness. They can't be bothered to look for a bin.
And they just leave it for somebody else to do.
No one can go on the beach cos there's lots of rubbish on it.
If you walk around with rubbish everywhere, you'll step on it.
-If people throw rubbish, they shouldn't have done it.
-People throw rubbish in my garden.
And, sadly, there's plenty more where that came from.
In fact, more than ever before.
This year we released our Beach Watch 2010 survey results.
We had the highest amount of litter that we've ever had. We've been doing the surveys since 1994
and it has gone up. On UK beaches in general, we get about 2,000 pieces of litter.
But in Wales we get over 3,000.
So you can't take more than a few steps on most beaches without litter and we think that's unacceptable.
It's a global problem. We get other people's litter - American and Canadian litter washes up here,
and they get our litter as well!
Crikey! Think about that. You drop a crisp bag in Barry and it could wash up in Boston.
How did all this rubbish end up in the sea? In the UK, we're never more than 70 miles from the coast.
You'd be surprised how easy it is for rubbish you drop in the high street to end up on the beach.
Shocking, isn't it?
We walk along the street, drop a piece of litter. That can easily blow into a river and into the sea.
It's really good for people to see first-hand, you know, what the problem is
and that they can actually do something about it. It's them that can stop dropping litter.
But it's not just litter louts. We can also blight our beaches from the comfort of our own homes.
The next thing we get is sewage debris. Those are things that people flush down the toilet
and then they've gone through the sewage system and ended up here.
The last thing we want really is that to be next to you at a picnic.
You're telling me! Eugh!
Dropping litter is a bit of a boomerang. It will always come back to you somewhere
and it just might be whilst you're relaxing on the beach or your kids are merrily building a sand castle.
Before the scoundrels tell you how the sand and the tide will make it all disintegrate, listen to this.
We do a Top 10 list of things we find on the beach. 9 out of 10 are made out of plastic.
Plastic's a relatively new thing. We don't really know how long it's going to be in the environment.
But it doesn't really biodegrade. It'll break into smaller pieces and become plastic dust.
Now that affects animals right from the bottom of the food chain, right the way to the higher up animals
that might eat some of the plastic or get tangled up in it.
I would ask everybody to please think about that. If you buy plastic, try to recycle it
and please always take it home or it may kill a whale or a dolphin or a turtle.
Got that? Good.
Luckily, this lot are on hand to pick up your waste.
There's been loads of bottle tops and string and, like, tubes and...
and lighters and all.
We've got a beautiful country and it's spoilt by people, because they can't be bothered,
they just throw their litter away. It spoils it for everybody.
It's not very nice if you want to put your towel down on the sand. You want to enjoy the beach
and not have this sort of thing next to you. If children dig holes and make sand castles,
they want to decorate them with shells, not cigarette butts.
That is one nasty habit.
Quite a few of them. People think there's no problem with them, they're made of paper,
but there's bits of plastic in them. There's research that says if you put one in 15 litres of water,
it will kill wildlife. It's what a filter does - it filters out all the toxins.
So all the toxins get stuck into this as you inhale on it.
Then you chuck it away and think it won't do any harm, but it does.
Worldwide, it's the most common item.
It turns out smokers aren't just killing themselves, but our lovely sea creatures at the same time.
And litter is also a killer for local wildlife and sea birds around the beach.
There's a few ways that plastic litter can affect wildlife.
One of them is entanglement, so the larger pieces of netting and things like that
can actually entangle birds and they just simply drown as they get entangled in it.
Another way is that they actually eat it so they'll mistake it for their prey and actually ingest it.
Then it gets stuck in their guts or it can fill their whole stomach and then there's no room for food.
It makes you think, doesn't it? Litter isn't just unsightly. It's incredibly harmful, too.
Right, it's the end of the clear up. How much waste did they find?
Well, we've got about 15 bags. And that was from quite a small section of the beach.
This isn't a particularly dirty beach. This is on every beach.
That's 15 bin bags full of rubbish from just 200 metres of beach. Makes you ashamed, doesn't it?
These guys have done a brilliant job today. Time for a well-deserved picnic on a very clean beach.
But I'll tell you one thing - this lot will take their rubbish home with them.
Can you Adam and Eve it? We're in East London, home of the Pearly Kings and Queens,
but it's not shiny new pearls being hunted - it's filthy, rotten scoundrels.
The local Environment Agency is raiding illegal waste sites. They've teamed up with the Old Bill.
Together they hope to feel a few collars. The Agency's job is to protect the environment from rogues
who like to pollute it. Today's raid is the culmination of 18 months of work.
The site is an old wharf which now has 10 illegal waste sites on it -
scrap yards, waste storage, household, commercial, industrial waste. There are no permits on it.
There is no drainage facility, no pollution prevention facility.
It sounds messy. 10 different yards and not a single licence to operate.
What are they going to find?
You need a permit to run a scrap yard and you need planning permission to set one up first.
Get it? Well, these guys don't. They have neither permission, nor a permit.
And if you're going to run a scrap yard, you have to follow the rules.
It's the law. You have to sort and separate your junk and make sure it's safely stored. Remove oils,
fluids and hazardous components and put batteries in secure storage.
The Environment Agency believes the boys on this site have been failing to follow these rules
and it's caused major problems.
There have been fires on the site because of the way the activities are managed.
Notably, it's tyres that generally go up, but because the scrap yards have cutting gear on their site,
oxy acetylene torches, people have to be evacuated from the local area,
the A12 gets closed and it causes havoc in the East End of London.
The oxy acetylene gas canisters can go boom in a fire and last year they almost did.
Locals had to be evacuated and it took 30 fire fighters to bring the blaze under control.
That's public money up in smoke. The environmental team have had enough.
It's time to confront the scoundrels and get the place cleaned up. 26 filth fighters,
15 police officers, 10 scrap yards - the raid is on!
OK, you ready?
-Off you go, then.
me on, then.
The best outcome for us is that when all the principal operators are there working,
so the intention is to arrest those operators and landowners
because they are knowingly causing or permitting the offence to occur by allowing it.
It's always a nerve-racking time and if he catches them in the act, they'll face a heavy penalty.
This offence here is not having an environmental permit.
On conviction at the Magistrates Court, we're looking at a maximum of one year and/or £50,000 fine.
If it goes to Crown Court, which are larger cases, more polluting cases,
we can be looking at up to five years and an unlimited fine.
Ouch. And just because you can't be bothered to do it by the book.
First of all I'm going to look at two scrap yards. And one is a demolition company's yard.
This is our first one here, which we can see is loaded up with scrap metal,
fridges, freezers, TVs, all of which requires a permit for storage.
White goods have to go with white goods, car bits with car bits.
It may be scrap, but you can't just throw it into a heap.
The middle yard here is one we got cleared. There's now another operator on it.
Unbelievable! This site was cleared on a previous operation,
but there are already new scoundrels in place.
That looks interesting.
This is our third yard with demolition waste in it which we need to have a look at.
This place is a complete mess
and remember, there is not a single permit to allow storage of scrap on this land.
Even after such a long investigation, the site is much worse than Owen expected.
At the three yards you can see behind me, we've got activity on all of these yards.
Business is just increasing and it's bigger than we thought.
Business may be booming, but what's happening here is illegal and dangerous.
The immediate problem is they don't have an environmental permit to store the waste
or to break vehicles and process any waste.
The secondary problem with the numbe of white goods that are in here
is I suspect a lot of those are goin for export out to Africa and we need to check their export permits,
whether there's any banned substance in there, i.e, the refrigerant gases CFCs...
Sending this kind of scrap to Africa shifts the pollution problems from our back yards to theirs,
but in Owen's experience, it's not just old refrigerators that find their way there.
Vehicles as well. Vehicles that would not meet any road standards over here,
MOT failures, even crash damaged vehicles.
Those are exported as well and cut into pieces and built back together again and operated on the roads
where the laws aren't so stringent.
Shocking! Owen needs to see any export licences to check whether on this site they're operating legally.
Meanwhile, the police believe they may have stumbled across something that affects us closer to home.
Yeah, up in Area 2,
one of the vehicles on the site has got Network Rail, the high-vis bibs
and number plates,
and we suspect it's involved in stolen metal.
The police need to check what's inside the van.
The bibs made them suspect that someone could have been stealing metal from railway lines.
It's something the Environment Agency are involved with as well
because the metal ends up at scrapyards like this.
It's becoming a real problem on the railways, causing massive delays for passengers
and costing the rail network a fortune.
That's just cable wheels in there.
-It's a false alarm.
-We looked inside the van.
It's just the cable wheels. It could come from any sort of business.
It's nothing that we regard as suspect.
The van is empty and no crime has been committed.
We'll be back with the raid team later when the extent of the horrific pollution becomes apparent.
There's an old sump here. We don't know how deep it is.
We're back in Blaby where they're employing girl power
against the filthy, rotten scoundrels ruining the area.
Though the Environmental Protection Team are happy to get their hands dirty to track down the culprits...
We've got an address here, so that's good.
..they've recently started to employ more hi-tech methods.
Between them, Anna Farish and Jo Hewitt have 12 years' experience tackling environmental crime.
In other words, don't mess with them.
Today, they're going to rig a fly-tipping hot spot with hidden cameras
in the hope of catching the culprits in the act.
We have removed quite a lot of fly-tipping from there before now,
so it's quite a good area for us to put the camera up.
The cameras will be hidden around a lay-by where people just pull up, dump their rubbish and speed away.
So this is the area that... We have quite a lot of trouble here.
There's quite a lot of stuff down there.
The sign's there. That's good.
Hang on, a sign that clearly says fly-tipping is illegal and you could even go to prison for it?
It takes some bare-faced cheek to still dump your rubbish here!
-You take the heavy one.
-I've got it.
-Are you sure?
Right, into the bushes, girls. Time to set up those hidden cameras.
The main issues are trying to make sure that nobody will be able to see it, where we've put it,
then in this instance, so we have th sign warning people they might be under close-circuit surveillance,
so we get the person potentially reversing up to the sign,
we can get their registration and have a still of them tipping in front of that sign,
so they've got no legal defence because it's obvious it was them and they were warned about it.
Great plan, girls. Scoundrels might think it's OK to ignore the sign,
but the law won't ignore it if you are caught fly-tipping next to it.
Is that looking at the sign?
Up a little bit.
Down a bit. Down, down, down, down.
This beats a dull day in the office!
The cameras connect wirelessly to the laptop, so the girls can park up along the road
and still be able to keep a beady eye on what's going on in the lay-by.
That's wedged in, so we've got the sign in the background.
I might get another camera and plug another one in.
She's getting the bug for this, isn't she? Right, camera number two ready for action!
-Is that the right way up?
-No, we're on the side, so we need to...
I said "ready for action"!
You're upside down. Keep going all the way round.
I'm saying nothing.
It's turned itself off.
And finally, it's ready for action.
What we've got set up is one of our cameras which is hidden in the verge
and that one is looking at our car parked in the lay-by.
We can see the registration plate then as we drive out of the lay-by.
Then we have the other camera which is set up to look at the sign,
just in that top corner there.
As they're both running at the same time, we can use this as evidence
if we were to take a case to court where we caught somebody fly-tipping in this area.
OK, so the lay-by is rigged.
Now the girls will start their surveillance operation, hoping to catch someone in the act
and bring a successful prosecution.
It's really good fun coming out to set them up.
It's character-building and playing around in lay-bys is something not many people get to do every day.
Steady on there, Anna!
Later in the programme, we'll see how their CCTV helped bang up a neighbour from hell.
We're back with the Environment Agency and Metropolitan Police now
raiding a site where ten waste yards are operating without permits.
The whole place is a mess.
There are strict rules about how to store and dispose of this kind of scrap,
but an 18-month investigation by the Environment Agency has found
that no permits have been granted for this site
and there are no drainage facilities and no facilities to deal with the pollution.
What does this mean in reality? Well, the team are knee-deep in it.
This is the remnants of two buildings that were full of tyres
which burnt just before Christmas an this is what's left over, really.
There's an old sump here. We don't know how deep it is. It's full of oily kind of fire water
This is of concern to us from an environmental perspective,
but it's hard to see the difference between that and what is normal mud.
I'm just going to tape this area off here to make sure that none of our officers walk into this area.
We don't know how deep it is. It's a risk to people, so we'll look after our officers today.
Disgusting! A filthy, oily, watery grave - a real hazard and not just for the team.
Generally, surface water drains run straight through to the river,
so a site such as this with oil everywhere
is going to cause a major problem to a local river.
Pollutants will be seeping into the ground. Again, they will eventually get to the river.
Moreover, when the site is redeveloped, we've got a lot of contaminated soil to deal with.
There's a real risk to local rivers and streams and all the wildlife that lives nearby.
And it gets worse.
The contaminated soil could be deadly for us too.
The toxins can cause respiratory diseases and cancer, so the soil will have to be cleaned or removed.
The whole thing is one almighty mess.
This again should be for the landowner to clear up.
Their argument at the moment is these tyres are their own tyres from their own haulage business
and therefore weren't waste, but if they're taking them off their lorries,
why are they storing them here? They should be sending them off for recycling.
If they are waste and they're burnt down, it should be up to the landowner to get rid of this.
This site is just a mess and needs clearing up.
It certainly does. And from one pile of badly burnt tyres to another stack sitting in yet another yard.
The owner claims that the tyres are for re-sale.
The Environment Agency aren't so sure.
Perhaps we'll do a de-pollution check list on the vehicles on site.
OK, and then obviously photographic evidence of the tyres in specifics and general.
Whilst they check the tyres, the rest of the team have discovered a breaker's yard -
scrap cars being broken down for their parts. There's no permit to allow for this operation here.
Luckily, the owner is on site.
-Hello. Who are you?
-Yeah. You're the landowner of...?
-One of these.
-Which one are you the landowner of?
-This middle yard is yours?
We own those cars, we've got logbooks for those cars.
-No problem at all.
The owner has all the right paperwork to prove he owns the cars. That's not a problem.
But he doesn't have a permit to operate a scrapyard here, so he is arrested.
The number one team back there, the middle yard, they've got the landowner on site.
He is being arrested, as is his son,
for the breaking activity there.
And both of those could potentially, at a magistrates court, face a £50,000 fine.
Ouch! That's got to break you. And it's not the only arrest he's hoping to make.
The operator of the site behind me is currently being questioned by Environment Agency officers.
And this is an interview under caution they will be doing.
That's for not having a permit on this site.
The police are uncovering their own evidence too.
It's been useful from the police perspective because we've got here a lost or stolen vehicle.
We've had three people arrested and we're going to the police statio to do interviews under caution.
Other people who are operating on site we'll invite in for tape-recorded interviews,
then we'll be preparing case files.
But that still leaves the big, enormous, gigantic issue of cleaning up this site.
The operation is not over.
Owen and his team will be working with the people running each of these yards
to make sure their businesses operate safely and properly.
If everyone had been above board, it could have all been so much simpler.
We talked to people who have moved from being illegal to being legal
on a concreted site with the proper facilities in and they're wondering why they didn't do it years ago.
Yes, it's expensive, but the amount of work they can do is much greater.
Hear that, all you filthy rotters? Do it properly and life is a whole lot easier.
An outrageous story for you now of the most brazen rubbish dumper you could imagine.
We're back in Blaby where the district council is fighting back against the fly-tippers
who constantly blight the community, ruining it for good, decent locals.
I think it's disgraceful, really.
There's a tip just down the road.
They can just tip it there instead of illegally doing it, really.
If you made them clean it up, they'd think twice before doing it again.
People think nobody's going to see them dump their rubbish.
I think it's your responsibility to dispose of it in the correct places.
As well as the cost of clearing up this little lot,
the council spent nearly £23,000 last year taking legal action against those responsible.
Anna Hillier runs the Environmental Protection Team here.
For over four years, her job has involved taking on Blaby's filthy, rotten scoundrels.
People get really worked up and stressed out about it,
so it's great to be able to help them and improve the environment where people live.
Ah, another lovely person dedicated to keeping our streets clean. It's great to see.
Despite her passion and experience, Anna's got one case in her files that simply took her breath away.
It all started in September 2007 when a new resident on this quiet estate reported
that someone was chucking litter over his fence and right into his garden. The cheek of it!
Anna was called in to investigate.
The type of waste was general household waste.
You can see there's food containers, dirty nappies.
It was really disgusting. You can imagine it really smelt.
Phew, I bet! Dirty nappies? That's unbelievable!
But where on earth could the rubbish have come from?
As you can see, it must have come from the house on the other side of the fence. Don't worry.
The litter-thrower doesn't live there any more.
Some of the rubbish was landing on a bit of council land
and the rest into Mark Richards' garden.
I had to clean dirty nappies away
and it was like wet nappies as well because the rain had got into them.
It wasn't a very nice thing to clean up,
especially when they're not your own child's.
And it's... I just hated it.
Can you believe what you're hearing?
Mark's got three young boys. Imagine having to clear this lot up
before you can even let your kids out in the garden! And it wasn't the odd bit of rubbish here and there.
Certainly in some places, it was up to the top of the wire fence and beyond.
There was just so much waste at the back of these houses. It was disgusting.
So how much are we talking, Anna?
In the region of 380 kilograms.
-I'm sorry. I must have misheard. How much did you say?
-380 kilograms of waste.
It took us... There were two council flatbed lorries here and they were full of the waste.
That's unbelievable. In old money, that's the best part of 60 stone in someone's household rubbish.
I'm speechless! Well, not for long because I'm too outraged.
What I don't get is why the litter-thrower didn't put this lot out for the bin men to take away.
It was just pure ignorance on her part.
She probably didn't care about what was going on.
She didn't care about what or who it was affecting.
The rubbish wasn't just dirty and unsightly. It was attracting something much worse.
When we cleared it, there was evidence of rodents, rat infestations as well,
so this whole alleyway down here was pretty disgusting.
It was dangerous too - evidence of broken bottles on the pathway.
This story just gets worse and worse, doesn't it?
With my boys being here and me just being moved in, I was quite concerned with what was going on
because obviously the bottles were breaking.
I couldn't let my children in the garden while things were being thrown out.
I really did think about moving.
That's outrageous. No-one should be driven from their home by a litter lout.
Anna needed to get to the bottom of this and fast.
Luckily, there was evidence in the rubbish that suggested it had come from Mark's neighbour.
There were nine letters which had her name and address,
which can show us then that the waste is from her.
Nine letters - that's pretty good evidence. Anna tried to do it the nice way.
She knocked on the lady's door, wrote letters and invited her in for an interview,
but the woman ignored the lot and she carried on chucking her rubbish over the fence.
The second time, there was less waste, because it re-occurred after a couple of months.
And I think there was something like 13 stone again worth of waste.
It was time to get tough. There was only one thing for it.
The council approached me and asked me if cameras could be put up,
so they can film over a period of time
to see if they can catch whoever was throwing this rubbish away.
Covert surveillance - that should do it.
They placed the cameras on the window sill pointing out the window,
facing the actual fence way, so you could actually see clearly the back door.
And less than 24 hours later...
It was quite funny really because everybody knew the camera was there.
When the rubbish came over, I was actually in the garden at the time.
I thought, "That's it - caught 'em!"
That's the look of one relieved man.
Let's take a look at what the camera saw.
This is the fence and this is obviously the lady's house here.
What you can see is her periodically come out,
lift up pieces of rubbish from by the fence and actually throw it over
I've never seen anything like this in my life. What on earth was this woman thinking?
It seems such a bizarre case that someone would do something like this.
You can see from the CCTV footage that she comes out with her rubbish and places it by the fence.
She then goes away, comes back and it's almost like she looks around,
takes a piece of rubbish out, throws it over the fence, goes away and does something else,
comes back and repeats that behaviour, so it's a really strange case.
And this is an ongoing issue.
From the amount of waste that we found there on both occasions,
she was doing this on a regular basis.
Once Anna and her team had got the footage, they went through it with a fine-tooth comb.
You can see she's got a milk carton and a soft drinks carton.
Then a little later, you can see each carton actually flying over the fence.
And then there's a crisp packet.
The evidence was overwhelming. The woman was charged and taken to court.
Just wait until you hear her explanation.
She said she thought there was a skip behind here.
Well, the space isn't big enough for a skip.
She was sentenced to 120 hours' community service
and you can have a wry smile when you hear what she had to do.
It was quite an apt punishment really
because she ended up causing the rubbish
and then she was given community service to clean other people's rubbish up.
And I thought, "Yeah, justice!"
The woman moved out of the house shortly afterwards and there have been no problems since.
What a result!
And an update on the arrests after the raid on the site of illegal waste yards.
Three people were arrested including a father and son team
running this breaker's yard without the right permits.
They've now all changed the way they work, so won't be charged.
They've agreed to only handle low-risk waste which means recovering and re-using car parts,
but they're not allowed to remove oils, fluids and hazardous components,
the stuff you need an environmental permit for,
so three operators are now working legally. Result!
Across Britain, our environment enforcers are working tirelessly
to make our country a cleaner and greener place to live.
Join us next time when we'll be chasing down more filthy, rotten scoundrels.
Subtitles by Subtext for Red Bee Media Ltd 2011
Email [email protected]
The incredible story of the woman who for months threw her household rubbish over the fence in to her neighbour's garden; a dramatic raid on 10 illegal scrap yards where environment investigators are shocked by what they find; and volunteers clean up Pembrokeshire's beaches.