Fresh blitz on fly-tipping after further increase in dumping across St Albans district
PUBLISHED: 17:00 12 October 2016
With fly-tipping on the increase in the district, people found to be dumping small amounts of rubbish could now be issued with fines of up to £400 through Fixed Penalty Notices.
Fly-tipping is costing St Albans district council tens of thousands of pounds to clear - and the problem is getting worse. In the year up to March 31, 2016, 1,202 fly-tipping incidents were reported compared to 863 the previous year.
It cost the council more than £40,000 in 2014/15 to remove fly-tipped waste that fell outside its waste management and street cleansing contract.
Fly-tipping is now such a problem that just four months after starting his new role as St Albans’ Chief Inspector of Police, Shane O’Neill, voiced his determination to make an impact on rural crime – including decreasing the incidence of fly-tipping in rural beauty spots.
The council’s cabinet is now recommending that Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) should be issued for small-scale fly-tips involving one black sack or more. The effectiveness of the scheme will evaluated after 12 months.
Currently the council seeks to prosecute fly-tippers where they have evidence and three cases are in the pipeline.
But small scale fly-tips are not generally considered suitable for prosecution by the magistrates courts following advice from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which has left councils unable to take action even where they have evidence.
Cllr Daniel Chichester-Miles, the council’s portfolio holder for environment, said: “Fly-tipping is a real blight on the environment that is unfortunately on the increase in St Albans district. It can range from a large pile of rubble to a black bag of business waste or a curtain pole at the other end of the scale.
“This report recommends that the council takes advantage of new legislation to issue Fixed Penalty Notices for small scale fly-tipping which in the past may have escaped prosecution.”