New legal powers to tackle fly-tipping in Suffolk

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The Suffolk Waste Partnership is warning anyone thinking of dumping waste that new powers are now in force that allow local authorities to issue Fixed Penalty Notices to any person found to have fly-tipped.

Any person issued one of the new Fixed Penalty Notices for fly-tipping would then have 14 days to comply by paying £200, which is reduced to £120 if paid within 10 days, although individual local authorities will have the power to fix the level of the penalty at up to £400.

Failure to comply with the notice may result in prosecution proceedings, which in the event of a conviction by a Magistrates Court can result in a maximum fine of £50,000 and / or a prison sentence of 6 months being imposed, with Crown Courts able to impose even steeper penalties of up to 5 years imprisonment and an unlimited fine.

Householders also have a legal duty of care to ensure that their waste does not end up being fly-tipped and can be prosecuted and fined up to £5,000 if convicted by a Court for failing to fulfil this duty. So to stay safe, always carry out the following SCRAP checks when arranging for your rubbish to be removed by anyone other than your local district or borough council:

Suspect - Beware of rogue waste carriers – reputable companies do not usually make direct approaches. If in any doubt as to whether someone is a legitimate waste carrier, do not allow them to take your waste.

Check - Ask for their waste carrier registration details. You can verify them by visiting the online register at https://environment.data.gov.uk/public-register/view/search-waste-carriers-brokers or by calling 03708 506 506. Note down the registration number of the vehicle used to take your waste away.

Refuse – Any unsolicited offers to have any rubbish taken away. Always carry out your own research and choose who you wish to approach.

Ask questions - Always ask what exactly is going to happen to your rubbish and seek evidence that it is going to be disposed of appropriately. A legitimate, professional waste carrier who wants your business should not object to being asked reasonable questions.

Paperwork - Make sure you get a proper receipt containing the written information for your waste. This should include what has been removed and where it will be going. Make sure the Company or tradesman’s details are included.

Cllr Clive Arthey, Chairman of the Suffolk Waste Partnership, said: “Suffolk Councils welcome the introduction of these Fixed Penalty Notices to use against criminal fly-tippers.

“Fly-tipping is a burden on both council taxpayers and local landowners, leaving us with hefty bills to clear up and spoiling our beautiful countryside. Of course, we have to catch those responsible first, so we urge all members of the community to be vigilant and report anyone seen dumping rubbish illegally.

“I would also remind residents to always use the SCRAP checks when thinking of asking someone else to remove rubbish from your property. This will help prevent your waste falling into the wrong hands and keep you on the right side of the law. Remember, if your rubbish ends up fly-tipped and you cannot explain how it got there, it is you that can be held responsible and potentially be prosecuted, fined and handed a criminal record.”

If you see someone dumping rubbish, please report it to your local council along with any details that might help us to identify and trace those responsible, including the registration of any vehicle involved:

Suffolk Coastal District Council - 01394 444000

Waveney District Council - 01502 562111

Babergh District Council - 01473 826622

Mid Suffolk District Council - 0845 606 6170

Ipswich Borough Council - 01473 433115

Forest Heath District Council - 01638 719000

St Edmundsbury Borough Council - 01284 763233