Waste news in 2017 seemed to be dominated by two major things – the reduction in kerbside bin collection by many councils in the UK and the rise in fly tipping in areas across the country. The latter is seen to be a direct result of the reduction in bin collections with householders looking to offload quite literally anywhere, rather than dispose of waste lawfully.
It is predicted that in 2018 the trend for a rise in fly tipping incidents could increase and with the last financial year reporting an equivalent of 114 incidents an hour this is a depressing thought.
There are however plans to try to change how those caught fly tipping are dealt with including the possible introduction of fixed penalties rather than put people through the courts. This is just one consideration that is the possible result of an ongoing Government consultation.
It is of course already illegal to allow someone without a licence to remove waste but the punishment can be a long process. Treating those that fly tip by way of a fixed penalty notice could add a further deterrent.
Part of the Government consultation could even see householders taken to task for failing to take ‘reasonable measures’ when hiring someone to clear their excess household waste. The proposals could see fines up to £400 if found liable in these circumstances, the idea being that putting the onus on employing a legitimate waste removal carrier in the first place. Councils can already issue fixed penalty notices for small scale fly tipping offences but this could see the responsibility to pass to the householder to find a reputable and licensed waste carrier.
Local councils via the Local Government Association are keen to quash any connection between charging for bin collections such as garden waste and the increase in fly tipping. They argue that easier reporting methods have contributed to the rise in fly tipping figures. However on the ground there are visibly more problems with people dumping waste elsewhere and general discontent with collection methods and frequency of collections.