A St Mary Cray man who paid £120 to have rubbish taken away by a stranger because it was cheaper than a skip has been prosecuted in a fly-tipping crackdown by Bromley Council.

David Taylor, of Hearns Road, was ordered to pay £796 at Bromley Magistrates’ Court after he pleaded guilty to failing in his duty of care for the safe management of waste.

The prosecution came as part of a investigation into mountains of rubbish left strewn across Star Lane in November last year.

Piles of dumped goods meant cars were forced to U-turn in the road, or swerve around the numerous piles of litter.

The council found some items that were traced back to Taylor, who said he had paid an unknown man £120 to take rubbish away as it was cheaper than a skip.

While it’s not thought all the rubbish was Taylor’s, the Orpington resident didn’t check whether the stranger had a waste carrier licence, nor did he ask for a receipt.

Councillor Kate Lymer, executive councillor for public protection and enforcement, said: “We all need to do what we can to prevent fly-tipping and part of this is to check that the person you are entrusting is a licensed waste carrier and is bona fide.

“The duty of care legislation is in place to protect both our health and the environment. We are all accountable for our own actions, regardless of whether it relates to you as an individual or your businesses.

“This is why it is so important to ensure each time waste is removed, that the person is authorised to remove waste and if you operate a business, remember you will also need a waste transfer note to prove its legitimacy.

“Otherwise, the council will prosecute and whilst prosecution remains a last resort,  we do this to keep our streets clean, with fly-tipping incidents always investigated.”

Taylor pleaded guilty at Bromley Magistrates’ Court on January 30, and was ordered to pay £307 in fines, costs of £458 and a £31 court surcharge.

The council spent nearly £15k on private eyes to catch fly-tippers last year, carrying out “covert operations” at £4,800 a go.

Star Lane has been dubbed a “prime spot” for crime, consistently registering high numbers of dumped rubbish and fires.

Fly-tipping costs councils upwards of  £250,000 a year to clear, and some dumps can hit authorities harder in the pocket as they have to investigate whether the rubbish is hazardous.