Dorset authorities join forces to tackle illegal fly-tipping

A NEW partnership that brings together key enforcement authorities, representative bodies and conservation groups, is leading operations to tackle fly-tipping and waste crime in Dorset with the launch of the SCRAP fly-tipping campaign.

Targeting illegal waste carriers who dump, burn or bury waste for money, the campaign will help householders, businesses and landowners understand their duty of care when it comes to waste.

Between April 2020 and January 2021 there were 1,501 incidents of fly-tipping reported to Dorset Council – costing £60,840 to clear up.

This is just the tip of the iceberg as many fly-tipping incidents take place on private land and are not reported.

Nonetheless, they still have clean-up costs for the landowner and all fly-tipping damages our environment and sense of well-being.

Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner, David Sidwick, said: “Fly-tipping and other types of waste crime are a blight on our neighbourhoods, communities and environment.

“Having met with a number of residents across Dorset to discuss their experience of this issue, it is important that we continue to address their concerns.

“Only by eliminating the source of business for waste criminals can we truly tackle the problem. By making sure we all know how to legally and safely dispose of our waste we can drive illegal operators out of business.

“With good education goes strong enforcement and the multi-agency approach of the SCRAP campaign will continue to enable the Dorset Police, BCP Council, Dorset Council and the Environment Agency to work effectively to target known and suspected offenders working in the waste sector.

“We must not sit back and wait for waste crime to occur; we must use every enforcement power available to proactively root out illegal operators and stop their trade.”

The campaign is based around the SCRAP code, which tells people how to follow their duty of care when they have got waste to get rid of.

  • Suspect all waste carriers until they have provided their licence
  • Check their licence details on the public register for waste carriers
  • Refuse unexpected offers to take your waste away
  • Ask how your rubbish will be disposed of
  • Paperwork – get an invoice or receipt for the waste they’re taking, including their contact details.

Any legitimate waste carrier will be able to tell you where they’re taking your waste, what will happen to it and to give you a receipt including their contact details.

Cllr Jill Haynes, Dorset Council’s portfolio holder for Customer and Community Services, said: “If you produce waste, at home or from a business, you have a responsibility to ensure it is disposed of legally and safely. This means making sure anyone who is handling your waste is licensed to do so.

“It is vital that you take steps to check that your rubbish will be disposed of correctly and that you are confident you know where it will end up.

“Be especially wary of ‘Man in a Van’ services promoted online via social media – if they end up fly-tipping your waste, you run the risk of a fine or even legal action.

“There are no excuses for fly-tipping. It’s unsightly and both damaging and dangerous to the environment.

“We all have a part to play in stopping this anti-social behaviour and with both the public and agencies working together, we can make a positive impact.”

Waste criminals take advantage of people who are unaware of their duty of care, undercutting legitimate businesses by disposing of waste at cheap prices. These prices are cheap because the waste is being dumped, buried or burnt at little or no cost.

It’s not just householders or businesses who suffer at the hands of waste criminals; farmers and other landowners are also vulnerable.

The campaign will work with the National Farmers Union and Countryside Landowners Association to provide guidance on how to protect themselves from waste crime and boost the intelligence collected by enforcement agencies.

Talking about the campaign, Ed Troughton from the Environment Agency said: “The most important message here is that we all have a part to play.

“We recognise that there are different reasons why someone may end up using an unlicensed waste carrier, but we want to make sure that when people have rubbish to get rid of, they have the right information to help them make a good choice and avoid having their rubbish illegally dumped or burnt.

“We are urging people to always follow the SCRAP code if they have waste to get rid of, but also to check what other options there are for disposing of unwanted items that could be reused or recycled.”

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