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British Broadcasting Corporation Home. Farin BBC web assistant prod This week, Rogue Traders looked at the people who don't respect the British countryside and its cities - the fly-tippers. Every year, we throw away enough stuff to fill 44 Wembley stadiums. This waste should end up in a legitimate waste disposal site, but a lot of it is ending up dumped illegally in the countryside and back streets of Britain.
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We took Becky French, from the Campaign to Protect Rural England, to one London neighbourhood that receives over reports of fly-tipping every year. She told us about the extent of the problem and why it is such a big deal. To investigate fly-tipping, we went to Cardiff where we'd had a tip-off that a man called Nicky Date was a prolific rubbish dumper. He had been convicted in for tipping nine tonnes of waste on the streets of Cardiff. Is he still at it?
To find out, we hired Nicky Date to collect some rubbish from us. We rigged a house with secret cameras and our researcher played the home owner. She planted a tracker in the rubbish so we could follow it and see where it would end up and we also sprayed the rubbish with a clever forensic spray called Smartwater which glows in the dark and has a unique forensic code - so we could be sure of identifying the rubbish if it was dumped.
Nicky Date came to collect the rubbish, which was already illegal since he didn't have a waste carrier's licence - a legal document issued by the Environment Agency that allows people to collect rubbish as a business. You might think you're saving money by getting a cheap service, but you could end up having to pay out thousands. Nicky Date couldn't fit all of our rubbish into his van so he had to make two trips. We started to track the first load via the tracker but lost the signal, so we waited for him to return to collect the rest of the rubbish.
When he came back and took the final load of junk - with another hidden tracker - the Rogue team followed the tracker signals again. The first one led them to an industrial estate near the centre of the city. After some searching they found the rubbish in a skip. And it was someone else's skip. A few minutes later the second tracker led them to Cardiff's Roath district. As the team got closer they could see they had been fly- tipped down a residential back alley.
We had been fly-tipped twice. We wanted to confront Nicky Date about his tipping and so we set up another house with another set of rubbish in the hope of enticing him out again.
Who better to remind him of the lyrical beauty of the Welsh valleys? Nicky Date turned up to collect the rubbish and as he started to load his van the choir began to sing to him. Nicky looked very bewildered before being confronted by Matt who was dressed as a member of the choir.
Matt told Nicky that we had caught him fly-tipping but Mr. Date denied it, stating that it wasn't him and explained that he was taking the rubbish to a local tip. Nicky then proceeded to unload the rubbish back onto the driveway and after a few more denials, he drove away. For the latest updates across BBC blogs, visit the Blogs homepage.
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