New measures to combat fly-tipping

Couns John Hilton and George Davies highlighting a particularly bad fly-tipping site in Whelley
Couns John Hilton and George Davies highlighting a particularly bad fly-tipping site in Whelley

Convicted fly-tippers could be handed litter-pickers and ordered to clean-up the borough as part of new sentencing guidelines.

Ministers say offenders should shoulder the burden with the offence said to cost town halls across the country almost £50m last year.

The Government now wants to see more of those committing crimes like this taking responsibility for cleaning up

Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom

The new guidelines will see fly-tippers forced to pick up waste as part of community service sentences.

The government plans come as warnings have been sounded about recent outbreaks across the borough, including a site in Whelley where a large amount of rubbish was dumped earlier this month.

Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom said: “The Government now wants to see more of those committing crimes like this taking responsibility for cleaning up the community by picking up litter and illegally dumped waste themselves.”

Wigan will later this year switch to a three-week bin collection rota and the announcement was greeted with fears the move could exacerbate fly-tipping problems.

But town hall bosses have said new enforcement officers will be employed to combat any outbreaks.

Coun Kevin Anderson, cabinet member for environment, said: “Through The Deal, by residents not fly tipping and recycling their waste correctly the council can keep council tax low. Last year fly tipping cost us £800,000 which equates to nearly one per cent council tax.

“Fly tipping ruins our communities and costs us money. We need residents to help us by reporting incidents and hotspots so we can carry out enforcement and catch these offenders who blight our communities.”

Fresh guidance from Westminster will also be issued to councils reminding them it is illegal to charge DIY enthusiasts to dispose of household waste at the tip.

Current guidance outlaws the fees but there are concerns some councils around the country are charging £4 a bag for soil or waste from home renovations.

Wigan has recently imposed a limit for residents meaning they can only dispose of six bags of soil, hardcore and rubble or a maximum of 150kg per month.

Residents can report fly-tipping via the council’s Report It app or online at www.wigan.gov.uk/reportit

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