A countywide fly-tipping campaign has launched this month, with the aim of reducing the number of fly-tipping incidents across Hertfordshire.
The Hertfordshire Fly Tipping Group (HFTG) are raising awareness of what constitutes "fly-tipping", as well as letting Hertfordshire's residents and businesses know about their "duty of care".
On Thursday 15 March, shoppers were surprised to see fly-tipping take centre stage in Hemel Hempstead's town centre. Along with key stakeholders from the HFTG, including MP Sir Mike Penning, Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd, Hertfordshire's Chief Constable Charlie Hall and Dacorum's Mayor (Cllr David Collins) we showed our support for the campaign on both a local and countywide level. Our message was clear – "Let's scrap fly-tipping!"
MP for Hemel Hempstead, Sir Mike Penning, said, "Fly-tipping is massively affecting this wonderful part of the country that we live in. We all have a social responsibility that we know where our rubbish is going. Please don't fly-tip."
Fly-tipping is an unnecessary strain on both the environment and taxpayers.
HFTG Chairman, Duncan Jones, said, "Approximately two thirds of fly-tipping incidents are household waste. Leaving items by bins or recycling banks, on the street or outside closed charity shops are all fly-tipping. In Hertfordshire, this amounts to thousands of fly-tipping incidents, costing Council Tax payers over £1 million to clean up and investigate."
Many people are unaware that not putting items in a suitable bin could land you with a fixed penalty notice of up to £400, or an unlimited fine if it goes to court. Since April 2017, 35 people have been prosecuted for fly-tipping offences in Hertfordshire and over 100 fixed penalty notices worth £300 have been issued. Besides disposing of waste yourself, the legal responsibility for your waste is still yours even when someone else is taking it away for you – this is known as your "duty of care".
Hertfordshire's Police and Crime Commissioner, David Lloyd, said: "All members of the public and businesses have a legal obligation, or duty of care, to carry out the necessary checks to ensure their waste is disposed of correctly. Failure to do so could result in them receiving an unlimited fine in court for a duty of care offence. Ultimately, if it's your waste, it's your responsibility.
"I've committed over £50,000 of funding this year to help local authorities combat fly-tipping through a combination of education and enforcement, such as covert CCTV cameras and leaflets."
Hertfordshire's residents and businesses are encouraged to follow the campaign's SCRAP code, which provides a checklist to follow when arranging collections of waste.
- Suspect all waste carriers - do not let them take your waste until they can prove they are legitimate.
- Check their waste carrier’s registration details on the Environment Agency website or by calling 03708 506 506.
- Refuse unsolicited offers to take your rubbish away.
- Ask what is going to happen to your rubbish and seek evidence that it is going to be disposed of appropriately.
- Paperwork should be obtained. Make sure you get a proper invoice, waste transfer note or a receipt for your waste removal – this should give a description of the waste and provide the waste carrier's contact details.
Hertfordshire Constabulary's Chief Constable, Charlie Hall, said, "Fly-tipping is a serious crime which can blight our communities across Hertfordshire. The police will continue to work alongside local authorities and will not hesitate to use our resources and skills to help prosecute serious and serial fly-tippers.
"If you see fly-tipping in action, call 999 and report it as a crime in progress. Record as many details as possible, such as the vehicle registration number and a description of the people involved. We do not advise approaching offenders, but if it is safe to get a video or photo of them in action, then that's great."
All incidents of fly-tipping, whether caught in the act or not, should be reported on our website so that we can investigate and clear the waste away.
We can also give help and advice to residents who may be unsure of how to arrange for their waste disposal needs.