Warning over illegal dumping

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Dumping two black bin bags of household rubbish can now earn you a £400 penalty from council officers under new powers.

Wakefield Council can issue fixed penalty notices to tackle small scale fly-tipping under changes to enforcement rules.

The £400 penalty, which falls to £300 if culprits pay up within ten days, was agreed by the council’s cabinet last week.

It was decided after the local authority dealt with 192 incidents of fly-tipping in November alone.

Maureen Cummings, the council’s cabinet member for environment and communities, said “On average, we are dealing with 200 incidents of fly-tipping a month across the district.

“The perpetrators are committing a serious criminal offence and we will do all we can to catch those responsible. As well as being a blight on our communities, it is costing the council a significant amount of time and money to clean-up and investigate.

“Over the festive period we urge residents to remain vigilant against illegal carriers that may fly-tip your rubbish.

“Residents have a duty of care to check that your waste is being disposed of by a registered carrier.”

A report to last week’s cabinet meeting said the fixed penalties would apply to fly-tipping of non-commercial waste of two black bin bags of rubbish up to a car boot load. More serious incidents of fly-tipping can lead to criminal prosecutions, unlimited fines and a maximum prison sentence of five years.

But the report said: “The ability to issue a fixed penalty notice for small scale fly-tipping will enable the council to deal with such offences in a more efficient and proportionate manner other than to prosecute or offer a caution.”

The charges are intended to be a deterrent against people committing lower level fly tipping and also intended to recover some of the costs of incurred in removal.”

Coun Cummings added: “I am delighted that we are now able to take immediate action against fly-tippers.

These fines will send out a clear message to perpetrators that it will not be tolerated in our district and we will take action against those that do.

“We ask anyone that witnesses fly-tipping to report it, either on the Council’s website or by calling 0345 8 506 506.”

In November, there were 192 incidents of fly-tipping around the district and council enforcement officers issued warning notices to 62 suspected perpetrators.

Wakefield Council said legal action was being taken following another 22 incidents of fly-tipping.