£600k fly-tipping bill

Many people pay cash in hand to have odd jobs done to the house or garden. But if they need to have rubbish removed, this is one time to avoid paying cash.

Buckingham shire Council says that rubbish is far more likely to end up fly-tipped if cash is paid to remove it. A bona fide waste carrier must pay a commercial charge to dispose of rubbish – so an anonymous ‘man with a van’ has a strong financial incentive to avoid this by dumping a load in the countryside.

Jilly Jordan, Deputy Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Environment, said: ‘Fly-tipping is a blight on the Buckinghamshire countryside, and the council spends over £600,000 a year to clear it from public land – money that could be spent on providing other services to the county’s residents.’

If the council investigates a fly-tipping incident and finds evidence that leads it to a householder, officers will pay them a visit and ask them to provide evidence that they have taken reasonable steps to identify the person they hired to remove their rubbish and to ensure that it would be disposed of properly.

If the householder can provide evidence of the identity of the person who took their rubbish away, such as details of a bank card payment, the investigation can focus on the fly-tipper.

But if the householder has paid an unidentified individual cash in hand to remove rubbish, they will be issued with a £400 fixed penalty notice for failing in their ‘duty of care’.

If the incident is serious, this might be escalated to a court summons that could result in a criminal conviction and hefty fine.

Ms Jordan added: ‘So if you pay cash in hand to have rubbish removed, you’re making yourself part of the problem.’

This S.C.R.A.P. fly-tipping campaign code from the council is a useful tool:

  • S – Suspect all waste carriers; do not let them take your waste until you are confident they are legitimate. A professional waste carrier should happily answer reasonable questions.
  • C – Check that a waste carrier is registered on the Environment Agency’s website.
  • R – Refuse any unexpected offers to have your rubbish taken away. If you suspect that someone who approaches you will be disposing of waste illegally, report them to the Environment Agency.
  • A – Ask what will happen to your rubbish and assure yourself that it is going to be disposed of appropriately.
  • P – Paperwork must be obtained – a proper invoice, waste transfer note or receipt, including a description of the waste being removed and the waste carrier’s contact details.

    Fly-tipping waste in Bucks