With household recycling centres across Dorset, including the one in Swanage, being forced to close to help prevent the spread of coronavirus, Dorset council is calling for local residents to look out and report any fly-tipping that they spot.
It says it will investigate all reports and where there is enough evidence, attempt to trace and prosecute those responsible. It’s scathing of what it calls, “a handful of selfish and anti-social individuals who will fly-tip waste and use the household recycling centre closures to justify their illegal behaviour, even during this unprecedented crisis.”
Unlimited fine and up to five years imprisonment
Fly-tipping is a criminal offence, punishable by fines of up to £50,000 or 12 months imprisonment, if convicted in a magistrate’s court. The offence can attract an unlimited fine and up to five years imprisonment, if convicted in a crown court.
Residents are being told to keep any waste at home that would usually go to the tip, until it reopens and also to avoid handing rubbish to an unlicensed ‘man in a van’ as they could end up paying a fine or being taken to court, if it’s not disposed of correctly.
Councillor Tony Alford, Dorset Council’s portfolio holder for Customer, Community and Regulatory Services, said:
“Now more than ever, we need people to keep us informed when they spot fly-tips. We want residents to help us by keeping their waste to one side until things get back to normal, and to check who they’re handing their waste to.
“We know the temporary closure of household recycling centres is likely to cause a rise in fly-tipping, so we’re keeping a close eye on the situation, reviewing central government guidance and planning every day so we can re-open the household recycling centres at the earliest opportunity.
“But there are no excuses for fly-tipping. It’s unsightly and damaging to the environment. We all have a part to play in stopping this anti-social behaviour and by working together I know we can make a positive impact.
“It’s also worth noting that Dorset Police are still out on the roads at this time checking where people are travelling to and may have some questions, if they look in a vehicle and find waste that would typically be dropped at a household recycling centre.”