Fine for Chichester taxi firm after it cleaned city streets

The owner of a Chichester taxi firm has been left stunned after being given a £180 fine for taking rubbish to the dump which he had swept up off the streets.

Peter Dunnaway, owner of Dunnaways Taxis, has made sure the area pathways and alleyways surrounding its office in Little London, Chichester, have been free of rubbish for decades.

But he has now refused to carry on his good deed after one of his drivers was fined £180 when he took the three bags of rubbish to the dump at Westhampnett.

This was because the driver did not have a waste disposal licence which is necessary if you are dropping off commercial waste.

But Mr Dunnaway is adamant he should not have been fined as it was not commercial waste, but rubbish he had swept off the streets.

“We have always swept up rubbish and we take it to the dump,” he said.

“It seems silly they have all these different agencies going around collecting rubbish, but they don’t want us to.”

In explaining the reason why the driver was given the fine, Chichester District Council said the meter in the taxi was running, which indicated someone was paying the taxi to take the rubbish to the tip for them.

Mr Dunnaway refutes that as his taxis do not have meters in them, and run on pre-quoted pricing.

“He never got paid to go out, at no time have any drivers got paid to go out with the rubbish,” he said.

“The rubbish was in the boot – it’s not like it was on the back seat.

“Members of the public should be able to support the council staff of ridding the area of rubbish. The council, like ourselves, like to keep Chichester tidy.

“We will do what the council wants and in the future we will ring them up.

“What would happen if people don’t pull together? It’s not so much about the rubbish, it’s the principle of it.

“It’s just going to increase fly-tipping in the area.”

A Chichester District Council spokesperson said: “Although the fixed-penalty notice was issued to the driver, the taxi company has paid the fine rather than choose to appeal it in the courts.

“It is also not ideal that a taxi, which is normally used to transport the public, is used to transport waste.

“We work with Virador, the company that runs the waste transfer facility, to make sure businesses are not using the household waste facility to dispose of their commercial rubbish.

“Enforcement is used to take action against illegal practices. 
We see no difference between paying a taxi driver to dispose of your waste and paying an unlicensed ‘man with a van’ to dispose of your waste.

“They are both undertaking an activity that is required to be properly licensed to comply with the law, regardless of the origin or type of waste involved.”