A MAN who offered a waste removal service on social media has been ordered to pay more than £1,000 after pleading guilty to fly-tipping.

Jamie Mittelmeyer had advertised a waste collection service on Facebook, Blackburn Magistrates heard.

The 28-year-old started he charged £50 to clear waste from two properties in Lower Darwen after a neighbour responded to a post on the social media site.

The waste was dumped in an alleyway behind Mowbray Avenue and included an old mattress, fridge freezer and gym equipment.

The waste was reported to the council officers and after investigating they found evidence linking it back to one of Mittelmeyer's customers.

Mittelmeyer admitted to the fly-tipping after being interviewed by council officers.

Cllr Jim Smith, Blackburn with Darwen Council's executive member for environmental services, said those who handed over the cash believed the waste would have been disposed of legally.

He was given a £400 fixed penalty notice, but failed to pay it – resulting in court action.

Mittelmeyer of Ravenglass Close, Blackburn, pleaded guilty to the offence at Blackburn Magistrates Court and apologised for his actions.

He was ordered to pay a total of £1,127 – including a £650 fine, £300 costs, £177 to cover clean-up costs and a £65 victim surcharge.

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Cllr Smith said: "As a council, we are committed to tackling fly-tipping and driving down the number of incidents in the borough.

"This includes undertaking thorough investigations and taking court action where necessary.

"There's lessons to be learnt from this case.

"Anyone offering a waste disposal service must have the necessary permits in place.

"I'd urge all residents to check this as they themselves can face a fixed penalty of up to £400 or an unlimited court fine in incidences like these.

"I'd also like to highlight the fact that the council has its own bulky collection service – which we offer at a really competitive price.

"Residents can rest assured that their waste will be disposed of responsibly and can arrange it at just the click of a button."

The 1990 Environmental Protection Act states anyone who drops, throws, deposits or leaves anything that would cause 'defacement' in a public place, is committing an offence.

Flytipping in Blackburn with Darwen can result in a £400 fixed penalty notice and is punishable by a fine of up to £50,000 or 12 months imprisonment if convicted at a magistrates' court.