Fly-tipping in Essex is draining more than £1 million of taxpayers’ money each year new figures reveal.
On Monday 4 September 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.”
Today a one-tonne fly-tipping haul was temporarily dumped in Central Park, Chelmsford to highlight to the passing public how big the epidemic is. Then on Friday, 8 September, a similar event will happen in Brentwood High Street between 10am and 1pm.
In Essex there were 17,547 incidents in 2016/17, a 16% increase on 2015/16.
The number of prosecutions of residents where fly-tipped waste has been traced back to them is also on the rise.
One 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.
An 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.
Keep Britain Tidy Chief Executive Allison Ogden-Newton added: “#CrimeNotToCare is an important campaign for our country and we are delighted that Essex County 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, visit recycleforessex.com/crimenottocare for advice.
Top tips to dispose of waste correctly
- If you use a trader to remove your waste ask to see their waste carrier registration number issued by the Environment Agency. It is illegal for them to take your waste if they don’t have a permit. Check their credentials and vehicle details.
- Make sure you get a receipt or transfer notice before your waste is taken away
- Don’t be afraid to ask where your waste is going and request paperwork that shows where it will be disposed. A legitimate waste carrier will not object to this questioning
- Protect yourself by being careful with your waste. Never leave rubbish, such as old washing machines or scrap metal on your drive or in the street as it could end up in the wrong hands. You can donate working items to reuse organisations or charity shops