A flytipper who illegally dumped more than 60 TONNES of rubbish was let off with a £50 fine.
Lance Morris, 47, dumped the waste – including old tyres and timber – in Croydon, south London, over a three-year period.
But the litter mountain cost Croydon Council thousands of pounds to clear up.
Morris didn’t have the necessary licences to carry or store the waste, and gave the “false impression” that he was working as a builder.
He claimed the waste – that blighted the Broad Green area of the town – was being stored as he said it was reusable as building material.
The site was visited by council officers more than a dozen times.
Environmental health officer James Quintyne told Croydon Crown Court that the local authority “didn’t want to spend another £5,000 clearing up the site” at taxpayers’ expense.
Morris was found guilty of three breaches of the Environmental Protection Act – dumping waste without an environmental permit, failing to comply with a council enforcement notice and another notice requiring him to clear up the waste – following a trial.
But Judge Elizabeth Smaller fined him just £50.
Morris, of Thornton Heath, south London, was also ordered to pay a £60 victim surcharge, and carry out 120 hours of unpaid community service, which the Judge suggested should involve cleaning up waste.
Councillor Stuart Collins, the cabinet member for clean and green Croydon, said the illegal waste mountain had blighted the local environment for years.
He added: “Maybe Mr Morris will learn a thing or two from having to clear up fly-tips as part of his sentence.
“This case underlines how our officers will continue to prosecute those who flout the law, and I hope it will make other potential fly-tippers think twice.”