Love Essex, a partnership of Essex councils and businesses, has launched its #CrimeNotToCare campaign to remind residents that if they do not comply with their duty of care to keep their waste from rogue traders they could be adding to the fly-tipping problem.
By carrying out the correct checks before handing your waste (anything from a sofa, black bags, mattresses, fridge freezers or building waste) to someone else to get rid of, will reduce the chance of it being fly-tipped.
Brentwood Borough Council’s Chair of the Environment and Enforcement Committee, Councillor Keith Parker, said: “Fly-tipping is not only an eyesore, it damages our environment, can damage wildlife and costs a considerable amount of taxpayers’ money to clear up – money that could have been better spent on vital services.
We want to remind residents they can help reduce fly-tipping in our county by not passing waste onto a rogue trader, but also protect themselves from committing an offence. If you give your waste to someone else and it’s dumped, you could end up with an unlimited fine and a criminal record.”
During the course of 2017-18, a total number of 20,567 fly-tips were scattered across the county. In Brentwood alone, there were 692. Over the past year, residents have been prosecuted because fly-tipped waste has been traced back to them. In August a man in Ebbsfleet Valley was fined £650 in prosecution costs and fines after pleading guilty at Basildon Magistrates’ Court to failing to ensure waste was disposed of by an authorised waste contractor. It was found to be fly-tipped in September 2017 in Thoby Lane, Mountnessing.
In a second case, a man from Romford was fined £542.50 in prosecution costs and fines at Basildon’s Magistrates’ Court in August after pleading guilty to failing to comply with his waste duty of care. He had collected waste from an address in Hackney and given it to an unauthorised collector who disposed of it in October 2017. It was found in Kelvedon Hall Lane in Brentwood and an investigation by the Council’s Environmental Health Officer led to the prosecution.
There are some easy checks you can carry out to ensure you protect yourself and the environment:
- If you use a trader to remove your waste ask to see their Waste Carriers Registration Number issued by the Environment Agency
Ask for their waste carrier number and vehicle details and contact the Environment Agency for a free instant waste carrier check.
- Ensure that you receive a transfer notice or receipt before your waste is taken away
- Check where your waste is going
Being a registered waste carrier means the person can legally remove your rubbish, but you still need to check what is going to happen to it.
A legitimate waste carrier should not object to you asking these questions.
- Protect yourself by taking care with your waste
Make a note of who you have given your waste to, their waste carrier details and vehicle details.
You should never leave any waste such as an old washing machine or scrap metal on your drive or in the street for someone to remove. They may not be a registered waste carrier, and could take the bits they need and dump the rest.
You can donate good quality items to your local reuse organisation or charity shop , or give items to someone who could make use of them.
Protect yourself and help keep our county clean and green. Love Essex – it’s a Crime not to care!
Visit loveessex.org for further advice