County cracks down on flytipping
Fly tipping can be anything from domestic items such as fridges, sofas and mattresses to garden waste, tyres and construction waste.
In Northamptonshire, around 1,000 incidents of fly tipping are reported to district and borough councils every month and it’s estimated that clearing this illegally dumped waste costs the county in excess of £650,000 a year - a bill that ends up being picked up by householders through higher council tax.
The Northamptonshire Waste Partnership, which is made up of Northamptonshire County Council and the seven district and borough councils, including South Northamptonshire, is increasing its efforts to address this issue by raising awareness about the problem, including how to report fly tipping and about people’s responsibilities with regard to disposing of waste.
Councillor Chris Millar, chair of the Northamptonshire Waste Partnership said: “Fly tipping costs the county hundreds of thousands of pounds each year. It’s an eyesore, it’s illegal and there’s simply no excuse. In the current financial climate, it’s clear that we need to address this issue so that taxpayers are no longer forced to pick up the bill for other people’s selfishness.”
As part of this crackdown, a fly tipping enforcement co-ordinator based within the county council’s trading standards service is working with all the councils to investigate and prosecute people who fly tip. The officer will also be drawing upon the expertise of trading standards in carrying out investigations and successful prosecutions.
This will include using SmartWater to trace fly tipped rubbish back to its source and using CCTV to catch fly tippers in the act.
Work will also take place to raise residents’ awareness about their responsibilities when disposing of waste, or paying someone to remove it for them, as if they do not use a registered waste carrier, they risk fines of up to £5,000. People who fly tip anywhere face fines of up to £50,000.
Councillor Heather Smith, county council cabinet member for highways, minerals and waste said: “Whether you’re having work done on your house or just a clear out, you need to make sure your rubbish ends up in the right place and not just dumped on the side of the road. You can take items to your nearest household waste recycling centre but if you are paying for someone to remove your rubbish for you, you must make sure that person has a waste carrier’s license.
“Businesses have to pay to leave rubbish at a recycling centre, so there’s a chance that some unscrupulous traders might take your money and fly tip your rubbish – if you’ve not checked them out first, you could still be held responsible and risk a hefty fine.”
The responsibility for clearing fly tipped rubbish lies with the landowner, which means that county residents often have to foot the bill for clearing up rubbish left on their land. As part of the initiative, enforcement officers will be working with landowners so that they are aware of what they need to do when dealing with fly tipped rubbish.
Similarly, information will be distributed to local businesses to ensure they fully understand their legal responsibilities when it comes to dealing with waste. And anyone who sees fly tipped rubbish or who sees fly tipping happening is encouraged to report it to their local district or borough council.
Cllr Millar said: “We are working to crack down on fly tipping and need everyone’s help to do this successfully; otherwise this unsightly and expensive problem will just continue to grow.
More details on bulky waste collection in South Northamptonshire is available at http://www.southnorthants.gov.uk/bulkywaste.htm.