County council’s £250k plan to tackle flytipping in Kent

This waste has been dumped by the Manston airport site. Much of it has been there for more than one year Photo Wildlife Conservation in Thanet

A Kent County Council action plan to reduce the level of flytipping in the county will include more electronic surveillance, including mobile CCTV, and covert cameras and tracking to better target criminal activity.

According to the Environment Agency (EA), over a third of illegally dumped waste is from households which have used unlicensed waste operators.

Illegal waste carriers often target people via social media or local advertising, luring customers in with cheap rates to dispose of unwanted furniture, building rubble or garden waste. But the waste is then dumped along country lanes or farmers’ fields leaving the bill for removal and disposal with the landowner.

Flytips include the one pictured, alongside the Manston airport site, the bulk of which has been in place for more than a year.

This month the Wildlife Conservation in Thanet group highlighted the piles of waste and rubble that still lay at the site between  Minster and Cliffsend.

In June charges were brought in for non-household waste at tips including those at Margate and Richborough with a charge of £4 per bag for soil, rubble and hardcore and £6 per bag of Plasterboard.

Prosecution

Householders or small businesses found using unlicensed carriers to dispose of their waste can and are being prosecuted with fixed penalty notices that range from £200 to £400 per offence.

KCC’s action plan is due to a £250,000 investment being made by the authority to tackle the issue.

KCC cabinet member for waste, Mike Whiting, said: “I’ve had letters from residents pointing out waste collectors on social media charging a few pounds to collect waste but there are no guarantees where it will end up.

“Many people don’t realise that if you’ve paid an unlicensed business to collect waste and it gets dumped and traced back to you, the waste is still your responsibility and you can be prosecuted.

“Over 90% of fly-tipped waste we see in the county could have been disposed of for free at one of the 18 KCC household waste recycling centres (HWRC) in Kent or from a kerbside collection by their local district or borough council.

“I am meeting with partners including local borough and district council leaders, the police and farmers to see how this £250,000 investment from KCC can best help reduce fly tipping, increase prosecutions and better inform householders and small businesses how to legally dispose of their waste.

“Fly tipping by unscrupulous criminals is an anti-social crime which blights our countryside and neighbourhoods.”

KCC runs 18 waste and recycling centres across the county. Each year these receive approximately 185,000 tonnes of waste and 3.5 million visits, at a cost of approximately £10 million to the taxpayer.

Op Assist

In the last year, officers from local authorities across Kent, the police and other agencies have been working together operation Op Assist, which involves days of action to crack down on fly tipping and unlicensed waste collectors.

The most recent, last month, was carried out in Thant, Ashford, Canterbury, Folkestone and Hythe and Dover.

During the operation 107 vehicles were stopped and 44 notices or criminal charges were brought against drivers and their vehicle/

This included 27 Local Authority Producer Notices for transporting controlled waste; four traffic offence reports; five Local Authority Fixed Penalty Notices; five vehicles were seized; one person arrested; two persons interviewed and reported for summons and four Prohibition Notices issued by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA).

Residents are advised to check the waste management operator they use is a registered waste carrier.

Registration documents should available on request and should be inspected before services are rendered or money paid.

3 Comments

  1. Accept more waste at the tips and not restrict by charging. Also residents must always check that anyone picking up waste has a waste carrier’s license, and as stated, it is their legal responsibility.

  2. So why are they charging householders and residents of Kent these sums to dispose of their natural waste when they already pay for it in Council Tax? Remove stupid charges and make it easier to dispose of the waste. Charge businesses who are disposing of commercial waste of course!

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