New penalty for householders over fly tipping

Date: 

Thursday, 17 December, 2020

Fly tipSurrey Heath Borough Council has introduced a penalty for householders who do not dispose of their waste legally. 

 
Every householder has a 'duty of care' to ensure they have taken reasonable steps to dispose of waste in accordance with the law.  
 
Failure to meet this duty of care is an offence which could result in a criminal prosecution.  
 
At the meeting of the SHBC Executive on 17 November, it was agreed that a fixed penalty notice (FPN) of £400 would be introduced for those who do not comply with this duty of care, and prosecution would only then occur if the fixed penalty sum remained unpaid. 
 
The FPN sum of £400 is the maximum permitted by legislation. It was also agreed to apply a discounted penalty of £300 for any FPNs paid within 14 days. 
 
Individuals are required by law to ensure that they are handing over their waste to a person or company who is authorised and licensed with a waste carrier’s licence to transport and dispose of it safely.  
 
The person taking away the waste must also keep a record of this (a waste transfer note) held for two years. 
 
Handing over household waste without asking questions may lead to the waste being fly tipped, with the householder being partly responsible and therefore liable to a fine of up to £400. 
 
Wherever possible, fly tips within Surrey Heath are investigated with any identifying evidence collected and used to attempt to trace the fly tipper.  
 
Surrey Heath Portfolio Holder for Planning and People Cllr Adrian Page said: "We are committed to doing all we can to reduce fly tipping in Surrey Heath, and this new £400 Fixed Penalty Notice is another tool we can use to deter those who are tempted to dispose of their waste using unlicensed waste carriers.  
 
“I would advise householders to check carefully if those that offer waste services are accredited to do so. The council will make every effort to trace and penalise those whose waste goes on to be fly tipped." 
 
There are some things individuals can do to help prevent fly-tipping. 
  • Refuse unexpected offers to take away household waste. Also avoid traders who knock on doors or use unverified adverts eg contact through social media. 
  • The individual must ensure they use a registered waste carrier. It’s possible to see if they are registered by looking on the Environment Agency’s public register online or by calling 03708 506 506. 
  • Ask the trader what will happen to the waste. Reputable waste carriers won’t be offended by reasonable questions. 
  • Get a receipt or invoice including the waste carrier’s contact details, and keep this safe. 
 
If you see a fly tip in progress, ring the police on 101. Take down any relevant information eg registration numbers of vehicles. 
 
SHBC offers a reward of up to £500 for information which leads to a successful prosecution in cases of fly tipping. Most witnesses must be willing to provide a statement that will be used in the court process. 
 
If you’ve found waste that has already been fly-tipped on a road, pavement, pedestrianised area or council car park you can report its location so it can be cleared at the Joint Waste Solutions website 
 
If you have a bulky or large item to dispose of, it can be dealt with in several ways. 
 
Can it be reused? 
If your bulky items are in a reusable condition you can contact the Surrey Reuse Network to arrange a collection. www.surreyreusenetwork.org.uk 0800 082 0180 
 
If it can’t be reused
For a charge, JWS can collect it for disposal. You can request a bulky waste collection online at www.jointwastesolutions.org, or call 03332 340978.