A new initiative to help householders avoid the sting of fly-tipper waste carriers has been put in place by North Kesteven District Council.
When anyone appoints someone to remove waste on their behalf - such as house clearance, garden materials or scrap metal - it is essential that they are certain that those people are licensed and will dispose of the waste properly, without fly-tipping it.
Sadly though, all too often, the waste gets dumped illegally and the trail can lead back to the person whose waste it is and they themselves can be prosecuted and fined for not taking the necessary care. In the past year alone nine people within North Kesteven have been fined up to £400 each for so called ‘duty of care offences’.
Now though, the Council has made available on its website a form that can help householders to record essential information which, in the event of their waste being fly-tipped and traced back to them, can prove the measures they took such as noting the waste carrier's name, address, vehicle registration and licence number. It also reminds of the need to get a receipt from the waste carrier and their signature.
Cllr Mark Smith, North Kesteven District Council’s Executive Member with oversight of public protection, said:
“Having proper paperwork in place acts as a deterrent against improper waste disposal and can protect the individual in the event of something going wrong.
“This new form doesn’t remove a resident’s responsibility for their waste, which extends beyond its removal. But it does provide a tool to encourage them to think about who they’re appointing to do the job, document their engagement with external carriers, promote community vigilance and discourage illegal methods of waste disposal.
“The initiative aims to combat environmental damage caused by fly-tipped waste and prevent the legal consequences for well-meaning and conscientious residents.”
The Council works alongside key agencies as part of the Environmental Crime Partnership, working together to effectively tackle waste related crimes. The Chair of the Partnership, Ayeisha Kirkham, said: “Initiatives like this are instrumental in helping to tackle fly tipping so it is fantastic to see one of our partners continuing to support householders to do the right thing”.
Residents are urged to ensure the legitimacy of whoever they appoint ahead of time by checking their licences, visit the Environmental Agency’s public register website or call 03708 506606.
Always ask for this information and to see the paperwork – if they have it, they won’t hesitate to show it – and check its validity.
Emphasising individual responsibility, the Council advises residents not to proceed with any waste collection if uncertain about a carrier’s intentions. The initiative aims to combat environmental damage caused by fly-tipped waste and prevent legal consequences for residents.
Under Government changes the fines for failing to take proper care over waste disposal are going up from £400 to £600 after April 1, reduced to £300 in North Kesteven for prompt payment.
Other fines for fly-tipping, littering and graffiti will rise too. While there is no maximum threshold for fines imposed by courts, the fixed penalty notice fine for the fly-tipper is rising from £400 to £1,000 under the new legislation.
“Importantly, filling out the form doesn’t remove an individual’s responsibility for what happens to their waste, but it could help protect them if waste does end up being dumped by a carrier,” said Cllr Smith.
The form can be:
- Downloaded and completed on our Report fly-tipping webpage.
- Downloaded, printed out and retained with a receipt of the transaction.
- Or found on the back page of the latest NewsNK sent to householders in late January.
Simple guidance in the fight against fly-tipping is provided through the SCRAP code.
- Suspect all waste carriers. Don’t give them your waste until they have proven themselves.
- Check their registration details online or by phone.
- Refuse unexpected offers and report anyone you think is suspicious.
- Ask what will happen to your rubbish and for evidence of its proper disposal.
- Paperwork should be obtained – the details for our form and a receipt of your transaction.