Urgent warning to Wigan residents as councils deal with more than 1 million fly-tipping cases

A leading firm has warned Wigan residents not to go near incidents of fly-tipping as local authorities across the country dealt with more than 1 million cases.
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Kingdom Local Authority Support, who helps councils in many parts of the UK with the enforcement of fly-tipping, has issued five top tips for anyone who comes across dumped rubbish.

This follows recent government figures released last month revealing local authorities dealt with a staggering 1.08 million fly-tipping incidents between 2022 and 2023.

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Not only is fly tipping an unsightly health hazard, dumped waste can damage the environment and attract vermin.

Fly tipped waste found in forestFly tipped waste found in forest
Fly tipped waste found in forest

The biggest contributor reported was dumped household waste (60% of all fly tipped waste), however a shocking 42,000 incidents were of ‘tipper lorry load’, which alone cost councils £13.2 million to clear and present a huge problem for enforcement and cleansing teams.

So, what should you do if you come across fly tipped rubbish? Whether it’s a bin bag full or a lorry load, getting fly tipping reported as fast as possible minimises the harmful effects and maximises the chances of finding the responsible parties. Here are five simple things you need to know to keep your streets as clean as possible:

1. Different councils have preferred reporting services.

You can report fly tipping directly on your account on your council website or use helpful apps such as Fix My Street or Clear Waste. Fix My Street covers any form of fly tipping, as well as ASB, vandalism and local hazards such as fallen trees. Clear Waste also provides waste removal quotes from trusted companies alongside prices.

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2. If you see fly tipping happening, you could be a witness.

Once the enforcement teams are notified of a fly tipping incident, they will go to the scene and review any potential evidence.

The next steps largely depend on whether someone has witnessed someone fly tipping. If so, this person could be asked to give a statement and, if the perpetrator is caught, be a witness in court.

3. Letters and personal items can be used to find the perpetrators.

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Fly tipping is a criminal offence which in some areas carries unlimited fine and custodial sentences. Like any other crime, enforcement teams will sift through dumped waste to find any evidence that may link someone to the dumped rubbish. If personal details or addresses are found, the team will then make contact. It’s important that if you come across fly tipped rubbish not to go through it yourself to find identifying details, as there could be sharp items or other health hazards.

4. Beware the man in a van.

Often, members of the public have paid a waste collection van to get rid of their waste, only for the van to dump the waste in a nearby road or layby. These scams are becoming increasingly common, warn Kingdom Services Group, because people do not ask for proof their waste will be disposed of properly. You have a legal right to ask to see documentation from these companies.

5. Your waste is your responsibility.

If you give your waste to an undocumented waste disposal company who then fly tips your waste, you are held responsible and could be prosecuted. And with the average court fine increasing from £466 in 2021/2022 to £526 in 2022/2023, the price you pay for not asking for the correct documentation could be costly.

“With the incidences of fly tipping showing no signs of slowing down, it's up to all of us to know how to keep their streets and parks safe and clean by getting in touch with the relevant local authority and practicing safe waste disposal,” says John Roberts, Senior Director of Service of Kingdom Local Authority Support. “The latest change to fines reflects a crackdown on fly tipping as something that not only makes towns and cities look unclean, but that poses a genuine health risk to local residents.”

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