'Beware people offering to take your rubbish away' say council officers around Oxfordshire in a bid to stop the rise in fly-tipping
The Oxfordshire Resources and Waste Partnership, made up of all the councils in Oxfordshire, has launched a campaign to SCRAP fly-tipping by making sure people know their responsibilities when it comes to disposing of their waste.
Residents are being urged to follow the SCRAP code, developed by the Hertfordshire Waste Partnership, to avoid fines and prosecution
It says: Suspect all waste carriers; check with the Environment Agency through its website or on 03708 506 506 that the provider taking waste away is licensed; refuse unexpected offers to have waste taken away; ask what will happen to your waste and make sure paperwork is obtained – such as a detailed invoice, waste transfer note or full receipt.
Vicky Beechey, Oxfordshire County Council’s Waste Partnership Manager, said: “This is an excellent opportunity to build on the successful Hertfordshire-led campaign to rid Oxfordshire of the blight and crime of fly-tipping.
"Oxfordshire’s county and district councils, along with Thames Valley Police and the Environment Agency have teamed up to work with our residents to #SCRAP fly-tipping. We want to support them in making responsible decisions in dealing with their waste.”
There were more than 6,000 instances of fly-tipping in Oxfordshire in the last 12 months – an increase on the figures of around 4,200 in both 2018/19 and 2019/20. As well as blighting the countryside and local amenity areas, fly tipping costs local council taxpayers hundreds of thousands of pounds every year to clean up.
The campaign will make residents aware that they can face both an unlimited fine for fly-tipping as well as prosecution, or a fixed penalty notice if their waste has been found fly-tipped after arranging for it to be removed.
Stuart Hutchings, Thames Valley Police’s Rural Crime Inspector, said: “Fly tipping is an offence: one that poses a risk to people and the environment. This campaign offers practical and helpful advice on how people can dispose of their unwanted items correctly and stay on the right side of the law. We would encourage members of the public to contact their local council if they have any concerns about the issue in their area.”
There are many options to get rid of waste responsibly. For example, finding drop off points on the Waste Wizard search tool, using district council bulky item collections or local household waste recycling centres.
Steve Molyneux, Head of Waste Regulation at the Environment Agency, said: “Oxfordshire has seen a disturbing rise in fly-tipping over the past year by almost 43 per cent – and it is waste criminals with an utter disregard for the environment and for our communities who are to blame.
“The Environment Agency and councils are ready to take action to stop waste crime. The Environment Agency has taken tough action across the country, prosecuting nearly 100 individuals and companies for the most serious waste crime offences, with fines exceeding £900,000, 28 custodial sentences and £1 million of confiscation orders.
“By working together we all have a role in stopping waste going to criminals in the first place. Following the SCRAP code, checking a firm is registered and asking for paperwork are steps we can all take to help prevent waste crime.”
Residents can anonymously report suspected illegal waste services to Crimestoppers on 0800 555111. Of if you find waste that has been fly tipped, please report it to your local council.
Details, tips and advice will be available on the campaign webpage oxfordshire.gov.uk/flytipping.