Anti-fly-tipping campaign urges internet users to beware of Facebook fly-tippers
Residents who turn to social media sites for ‘tip runs’ are warned that they could end up in court, as Newark and Sherwood District Council steps up its campaign against fly-tipping.
Not in Newark and Sherwood was launched by the district council in September to take an uncompromising approach to fly-tipping offenders, with incidents on the increase and running at nearly four a day.
Rogue rubbish collectors are actively advertising their services on social media sites by posing as legitimate waste removal services but often just dump their collections on other people’s land or in public.
Fly-tipping is a serious criminal offence and residents who pay for such illegal services face prosecution if they do not take the appropriate steps to prevent their rubbish from being dumped.
A builder in Newark who used Facebook to search for a waste removal service has been fined for failing to use a licensed waste carrier, after wood, building materials and bags of rubbish were discarded on the outskirts of Sherwood Pines.
Newark and Sherwood District Council took legal action after officers found addresses on paperwork among the rubbish that traced the debris back to the owner.
Jay Boby, 27, was fined £250 reduced to £167 for an early guilty plea, with a £30 victim surcharge and £150 legal costs, totalling £347 to be paid in 14 days.
A second defendant, Corey Batterham, has also been identified by the district council but failed to attend court. A warrant has been issued for his arrest.
Andrew Kirk, the district council’s business manager for waste management, said: "Fly-tipping is a serious offence which not only results in a considerable cost to the public purse to clear up but is also harmful to the community and the environment.
“This should serve as a warning to other residents that we will thoroughly investigate incidents of fly-tipping and pursue offenders through the courts. It also highlights the consequences of using ‘man-with-a-van’ type services that pose as legitimate waste carriers on social media.
“We are frustrated that the second defendant failed to attend but we are working with police to bring him before the courts. Cutting corners and ignoring the laws that are in place to protect us all will not be tolerated.”
As part of Not in Newark and Sherwood, the council has pledged to challenge local social media sites, particularly those which actively promote illegal ‘tip run’ requests and services.
Other elements of the campaign are also under way, including a ‘stop and check’ day in conjunction with the police, which is scheduled to take place in the coming weeks. On the day, vehicles carrying waste without the necessary trading paperwork will be targeted and the appropriate action taken.
During the financial year 2018-19, the council removed 1,438 fly-tips with a combined weight of 361.89 tonnes and costing the taxpayer £55,000 annually. For the current 2019-20 period, 639 fly-tips had been removed between April and November with a combined weight of 169.59 tonnes – the rate at which shows that the problem is getting worse.
The council is advising that residents always check for a valid waste carrier’s licence which can be done easily on the Environment Agency website. If someone offers to remove your waste you must make sure that they have the appropriate licenses to remove it so it will be disposed of responsibly. If you use anybody else, you run the risk of waste being fly-tipped and it will be your responsibility.
You can also use the district council’s bulky waste collection service for which there is a small charge, or for larger quantities the council can provide you with an individual quote. For bulky waste go to http://www.newark-sherwooddc.gov.uk/bulky/ or electrical waste http://www.newark-sherwooddc.gov.uk/wasteandrecycling/electricalwaste/