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Joined up approach needed to tackle fly-tipping menace

The scourge of fly-tipping has continued apace around Britain, with Defra reports showing councils recorded 900,000 incidents during 2014-15, costing £50 million in clean up costs.  

Olivia   Midgley

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Olivia   Midgley
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Fly-tippers crushed a metal gate when they dumped several tonnes of waste in Inglewhite, Preston
Fly-tippers crushed a metal gate when they dumped several tonnes of waste in Inglewhite, Preston

Local authorities carried out 515,000 enforcement actions in the same period at a cost of £17.6m.

 

Landowners believe the problem could have been exacerbated by increases to council tip charges, while others say it is down to the ‘professionalism’ of fly-tippers and lack of police and council resources to track offenders down.

 

It came as Richard Weston, of Frederick Street, Woodville, was caught disposing of old dishwasher parts in a rural lane by officers from South Derbyshire District Council and ordered to pay £1,236.

 

The council said it was its fourth successful conviction for waste offences in the last six months and ‘sends out a strong message we will not tolerate behaviour which threatens the district’s reputation as a clean, green and safe place to be’.

 

Fly-tippers crushed a metal gate when they dumped several tonnes of waste at the entrance to a farm in Inglewhite, Preston, Lancashire (pictured) earlier this month.

 

Stakeholders in Hertfordshire have also been taking steps to address the fly-tipping menace.

 

Hertfordshire Constabulary, Hertfordshire County Council and the county’s 10 district and borough councils have agreed a single, county-wide definition of fly-tipping, a standardised recording process, a single point of contact in each district’s Safer Neighbourhood Team and a £400,000 nuisance fund for fly-tipping, fly-grazing and anti-social behaviour.

 

Hertfordshire Constabulary will soon introduce a revised ‘force control room process’ for reporting fly-tipping, based on success in Three Rivers District Council, where referrals are passed internally between agencies after a first point of contact from the public.

 

Dr Amie Birkhamshaw, head of policy and engagement at the Hertfordshire office of the police and crime commissioner, said: “Fly-tipping is one of those issues raised most frequently to the commissioner. It is something which blights many communities but which we can only tackle effectively when all the relevant agencies work together.”

  • If members of the public find fly-tipping they should report it to their local authority for investigation or alternatively call the police via 101.

 


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Joined up approach needed to tackle fly-tipping menace Joined up approach needed to tackle fly-tipping menace


Advice from the National Fly-Tipping Prevention Group

What to do with fly-tipped waste on your land:

  • Exercise caution. Fly-tipped waste can be hazardous. Do not open bags or drums and be aware piles of soil may be contaminated or hide dangerous material
  • Record as many details as possible about the waste and when you found it. If possible take a photograph
  • Report the incident. Do not move the waste or remove any evidence until the authorities have been notified
  • Secure the waste so it cannot be interfered with or added to
  • Fly-tippers are doing something illegal. They are unlikely to welcome people observing them. Do not put yourself at risk. If fly-tipping is in progress, call 999
  • When arranging for disposal, use a registered waste carrier, as if it is dumped elsewhere you could be held responsible and face an unlimited fine
  • Get documentation which includes details of the waste and who is taking it away
  • If you take the waste to a licenced waste site, make sure you are registered as a waste carrier
  • If the waste is hazardous make sure it is carried and disposed of by those licensed to deal with hazardous waste
  • Keep full details of clearance and disposal costs. Successful prosecution can mean costs can be recovered
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