FLY-tipped trash cost a Somerset woman £100 after the people she paid to dispose of her rubbish dumped it at Huntworth Viaduct.

Leanne Beard, 24, was fined £50 with £30 costs and a £20 victim surcharge after waste she had paid men £20 to take away was fly-tipped.

Taunton Deane Magistrates Court heard on June 2 how Miss Beard admitted failing to take reasonable measures to ensure the transfer of household waste to an authorised person.

Miss Beard told the court she had been moving from Frampton Road, Bridgwater, and had accepted an offer to dispose of her rubbish, which was later fly-tipped at Huntworth Viaduct.

Pleading guilty, Miss Beard, now of Pixton Way, Dulverton, added she should not have trusted the men who took her refuse; she was in the middle of moving and so had jumped at the opportunity.

Prosecuting for Sedgemoor District Council, solicitor Nigel Osborne said: “Fly-tipping is a serious offence; its blight is not only visual but can often have serious health and safety implications, and the costs of dealing with it are substantial.”

The prosecution was brought as part of renewed efforts by all Somerset district councils to clamp down on fly-tippers through new equipment, warning signs, newspaper adverts and further training for enforcement officers.

A Somerset Waste Partnership (SWP) spokesman said: “As all councils in Somerset work together to drive down fly-tipping and deter, catch and convict fly-tippers, this case emphasises that everyone has a duty of care to ensure their waste is properly handled by licensed traders and sent to a place that can legally take the materials.”

How you can help drive down fly-tipping:

*Ask any trader taking waste - from builders to man-and-van operators - for their waste carrier licence and where the refuse will go.

*Never pay cash; get a receipt with full contact details, and note the registration number and description of vehicles and people taking away your waste.

*Check details of recycling sites at or by calling Somerset Direct on 0845 3459188. Business directories list legitimate companies that provide waste services.