A Cambridgeshire council pledged to make catching fly tippers one of its priorities in the year ahead.
South Cambridgeshire District Council says waging war on fly tipping is a “key objective” in its business plan.
It has promised a three-point action plan to support their campaign:
1: Prompt clearance of rubbish to reduce further occurrences at the same site.
2: Deterring criminal activity using ‘fly tip under investigation’ stickers to highlight ongoing investigations.
3: Joint roadside check initiatives with the Police, HMRC and other partners
Council leader Bridget Smith said: “It’s a massive problem for us and it’s a massive problem for residents.”
She believes three quarters of those that fly tip are unlicenced operators who find customers through Facebook whilst the remainder are residents dumping their own rubbish.
“Fly tipping is a criminal offence which can result in a Fixed Penalty Notice of up to £400 or could end up in court with fines of up to £50,000 or even a prison sentence,” said a council spokesperson.
“The council receives around 1,600 reports a year on its online reporting page which amounts to more than four reports a day, every day, throughout the year – including Bank Holidays.
“Rubbish dumpers don’t take the day off, not even for Christmas.
Cllr Henry Batchelor, lead Cabinet member for environmental services, said: “In South Cambridgeshire it cost us £68,000 for fly tip removal in 2022/23. This is just the cost for time and labour alone.
“Uncontrolled illegal waste can be hazardous to the public, especially if it contains toxic material or asbestos. There could be a risk of damage to watercourses and soil quality from the dumped waste.
“In short, dumped rubbish is a disaster for people, natural wildlife, watercourses, plants and hedgerow – as well as the obvious immediate concern of looking unsightly and ruining our beautiful countryside.”
He continued: “Sadly many people are conned into thinking they are having their waste removed responsibly by answering ‘man with a van’ ads on social media and have no idea that their rubbish is destined to be fly tipped.
“What many people also don’t realise is they are then responsible and could be fined for not properly checking the removal business was a reputable waste collection service.”
South Cambridgeshire District Council is urging residents to do the right thing and properly get rid of their rubbish by:
- Consider giving it away for free on Facebook marketplace, Gumtree or taking to your local charity shop.
- If possible, reuse, repair or recycle your items before getting rid of them.
- Ensure you choose a reputable registered waste carrier disposal service.
- The council can arrange for collection of bulky items for many common household goods. It can collect a maximum of nine items per collection. Up to three items can be booked for the minimum charge of £32.50. Additional items are then £5.50 each.
- Or take rubbish to one of Cambridgeshire’s Household Recycling Centres
The council says if you see fly tipped waste to:
- Report using our online fly tipping tool Make a note of exact location
- Date and time you discovered the fly-tipping
- Details and photos of the items
- Vehicle’s registration number and other identifying features such as colour and model
Darryl Preston, the Conservative police, and crime commissioner for Cambridgeshire, said: “Fly tipping is a complete blight on our communities. It’s anti-social and has a detrimental environmental impact and of course, it’s crime.”
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