Campaign to tackle menace of fly-tipping in Essex

Fly tipping

Fly-tipping in Essex is draining more than £1 million of taxpayers’ money each year new figures reveal.

Today Love Essex, a partnership of councils, businesses and environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, is launching its #CrimeNotToCare campaign to remind residents they could unwittingly end up with a criminal record and face an unlimited fine, if a rogue trader dumps their waste illegally.

Cllr Simon Walsh, Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Waste, said: “There were 17,547 separate incidents of fly-tipping countywide last year, costing taxpayers’ £1,093,907 to clear up – money that could have been better spent on vital services. Almost 50% of people don’t know they’re responsible by law if their rubbish is fly-tipped by a third party. We hope CrimeNotToCare will educate people on how to dispose of their waste correctly to ensure they don’t end up with a criminal record and a hefty fine.”

In the Braintree District there were 724 incidents in 2016-17, a fall of 7% on 2015/16.  However, even though there has been a drop in the district, there has still been an increase across Essex of 16%.

The number of prosecutions of residents where fly-tipped waste has been traced back to them is also on the rise.

A resident from Braintree failed in his duty of care by instructing an unauthorised waste carrier to remove his waste, including asbestos, guttering and downpipes. It was dumped on public land in Shalford. After investigating the evidence, it was traced back to the man who admitted to the offence and fined £500, ordered to pay £1,296 costs and a £15 surcharge.

Another Essex resident had allowed a man who knocked at his door to take 40 black sacks of rubbish away for £70 cash, without checking he was authorised to transport the waste – rules he was unaware of. That rubbish was then fly-tipped in a garage area in Loughton and traced back to the resident. The man was fined £461 and ordered to pay £758 prosecution costs after pleading guilty to failing his household waste duty of care at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court last month.

Councillor Wendy Schmitt, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment and Place at Braintree District Council said: “We need the public to understand their rubbish is their responsibility and they must do the right thing with it. Giving it to a man with a van who offers to get rid of it cheaply could prove costly for people and result in them getting a criminal record.”

Keep Britain Tidy Chief Executive Allison Ogden-Newton added: “#CrimeNotToCare is an important campaign for our country and we are delighted that Braintree District Council, as part of Love Essex, is partnering with us. There are almost a million fly-tipping incidents in England every year and cleaning it all up costs us £50 million a year. It blights communities and our countryside and is a menace.”

Ensure you don’t fall foul of the law – to check how you can protect yourself visit www.recycleforessex.com/crimenottocare for advice.