A man who hauled 120 tires out of a polluted river has been told to pay £480 to get rid of them.
Both council and environmental officers have refused to accept responsibility for the rubbish. And Roy Hart, 63, was told it will cost him £4 for each one to be legally disposed off.
Farmer Roy, a keen angler, and three volunteers acted after seeing dead fish in the polluted River Crouch at a park in Wickford, Essex. He got permission to act from the Environment Agency and Basildon Council.
But afterwards Agency officials said the tires were the responsibility of the land owner - the council.
But the council argued it was a "pollution control" matter for the Agency. Mr Hart, a parish councillor, now has a mountain of tires outside his home in Battlesbridge. He said: "I'm being punished for showing community spirit."
Agency chief Peter Rickett claimed Mr Hart did not ensure the council would take the rubbish. He added: "We are only responsible for clearing rivers if there is a flood risk.