Published: 10 December 2021

From: Waste and recycling

A man who dumped rubbish from a van outside Crawley Recycling Centre and was abusive to council staff has been fined £4,500 for fly-tipping.

Robert Hird, from Oak Way, Northgate, was prosecuted by Crawley Borough Council at Crawley Magistrates’ Court on Thursday 2 December.

Vans were not allowed into the recycling centre at the time of the offence, in May 2020, due to coronavirus restrictions in place at the time.

Mr Hird, 33, emptied a vanload of household waste at the entrance to the recycling centre, in Metcalf Way, Langley Green, and was abusive to the Crawley Borough Council Civil Enforcement Officer (CEO) who was controlling entry to the site.

Mr Hird was told by staff that the site was not accepting waste from commercial vehicles due to restrictions put in place at that time as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. He responded aggressively, disposed of his waste on the road opposite the entrance and drove off. 

The offence was caught in full on the body-worn camera used by the CEO. Police were called, who identified the van owner through its registration.

Mr Hird pleaded guilty to a fly-tipping offence under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and was fined £4,500 at the magistrates’ court.

The total he has to pay is £6,168, including clearance costs of £184 and court costs of £1,294, which both come back to the council, and a victim surcharge of £190.

This was a particularly bad fly-tipping incident, which is reflected in the court’s punishment. It’s the highest fine ever given for a Crawley Borough Council prosecution for fly-tipping. We will always seek the strongest possible sanction against anyone who is abusive towards our staff.

Cllr Gurinder Jhans

Cabinet member for Environmental Services and Sustainability

Crawley Borough Council

For more information on how to dispose of waste correctly, visit