Countryside Alliance offer advice to Rochdale residents on dealing with fly-tipping

Date published: 11 February 2020

Following recent reports of fly-tipping along Ashworth Road in Norden, which included mattresses, furniture and decorating debris, the Countryside Alliance has offered advice to local people and reiterated its call for tougher action.

Fly-tipping is one of the more common crimes usually committed in rural areas, causing serious issues for those who are left to deal with it yet it is the only crime where the victims (private landowners) have a legal responsibility to dispose of the waste.

Fly-tipping affects 67% of farmers and is estimated to cost them £47 million every year with the average cost to clean up an incident being £800.

Despite the blight, only one in 600 incidents of fly-tipping lead to a prosecution with the most common punishment a fine of less than £430.

There were some 997,553 incidents of illegal dumping in 2017/18. In 2018/19 fly-tipping increased by 8% in England amounting overall, to over one million instances.

Estimates of true costs of fly-tipping lie between £100m and £150m each year.

As part of the group’s ongoing anti-fly-tipping campaign, they are pushing for improved access to Civic Amenity sites: extension of opening hours; locations; and overhaul and standardisation of admission policies, to encourage lawful disposal of waste.

The organisation also believe there needs to be greater support for landowners: anti-fly-tipping measures; utilisation of comprehension orders; and closer working relationships with local authorities in recognition to particular problems caused by waste fly-tipped on private land.

The National Fly-tipping prevention group, of which the Countryside Alliance is a member has the following advice to victims of fly-tipping:

  • Be cautious. Some fly-tipped waste can be hazardous. Do not open bags or drums and be aware that piles of soil may be contaminated or hide dangerous material.
  • Record as many details as possible about the waste and when you found it. If possible take a photograph of the waste.
  • Report the incident – do not move the waste or remove any evidence from it until the authorities have been notified.
  • Secure the waste so that it cannot be interfered with or added to.
  • Remember that fly-tippers are doing something illegal – they are unlikely to welcome people observing them. Do not put yourself at risk – if fly-tipping is in progress, call 999.
  • When arranging for disposal, ensure that you use a registered waste carrier, as if it is dumped elsewhere you could be held responsible and face an unlimited fine.
  • Ensure that you get documentation which includes the details of the waste and who is taking it away.
  • If you take the waste to a licensed waste site yourself, make sure you are registered as a waste carrier.
  • If the waste is hazardous then make sure that it is being carried and disposed of by those licensed to deal with hazardous waste.
  • Keep full details of your clearance and disposal costs. Successful prosecution can mean that your costs incurred for the removal of the waste can also be recovered.

Sarah Lee of the Countryside Alliance said: “The images of fly-tipping on Ashworth Road, though horrendous, are an all too familiar sight in the countryside. Fly-tipping is a serious issue. Sadly, there isn’t a quick-fix solution, but it is an issue many people feel strongly about and they want to see stronger enforcement action taken by the police and local authorities.

“Installing CCTV in known problem areas acts a good deterrent. As important as these steps are, the best way of tackling it is to work together within our communities to find the culprits.

“Reporting suspicious activity, particularly at hot-spots, is essential in tracking down those responsible.”

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