Fly-tippers in Calderdale are paying the price for dumping rubbish illegally, as more people than ever are being caught and prosecuted.
In the last 18 months, the Council has changed the way fly tipping is dealt with, which has led to a more efficient process.
When any fly-tipping is reported, staff who clear up the mess are now trained to assess whether they think a prosecution is possible and only then involve Environmental Health. Previously they attended every incident. This has meant that officers now focus on catching the culprits.
So far, it looks like this change is paying off, as in the last year a total of 186 cases were referred to Environmental Health where potential leads for fly tipping existed. Over a hundred people have been interviewed under caution and 56 cases were considered for formal action.
Of those investigations 28 people were issued with a Formal Caution for fly tipping or other waste offences and a further eight cases have been heard in court where fines and community service orders have been issued. A number of the cases are still being considered for legal action.
This is a massive increase on 2014/15’s statistics, when seven people were prosecuted and eight cautioned.
The time taken to clear away fly-tipping has also improved, going from an average of four days to just over one.
Some of the prosecutions have resulted in substantial fines. In one case, Mr Jamie Ward pleaded guilty to a fly-tipping offence and was given a community order for 12 months requiring him to undertake 60 hours of unpaid work. He was also ordered to pay £818 in costs and a £60 victim surcharge. He admitted fly-tipping seven bags of domestic waste at a property in Tennyson Avenue in Sowerby Bridge.
People have also been caught out when someone else has actually done the fly-tipping. Agata Stosiak pleaded guilty to failing in her duty of care in relation to waste found deposited on land off Old Lane, Halifax. She entered this plea on the basis that it was a member of her family that took the waste, but she did not know where the waste was to be deposited. She was fined £130 and ordered to pay a £20 victim surcharge and £200 in costs.
Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Development, Cllr Barry Collins, said:
“Fly-tipping is a serious crime that can be dangerous and disruptive; it’s costly, ugly and spoils our living environment. We continue to do all we can to catch the culprits and this new method of dealing with the fly-tippers is working well.
“We advise all residents to ensure their waste is being disposed of correctly. These convictions show that the Council will not hesitate to take action against those people who choose to fly-tip their waste.
“Even if someone else takes your waste away, you need to be sure they’re disposing of it correctly, or you could face a penalty. The Council operates a bulky waste collection service which is a cost effective way to dispose of excess or bulky waste.
“There are also five household waste recycling sites across the borough where residents can dispose of their waste correctly. Visit www.calderdale.gov.uk for more information.”