Published: Tuesday, 5th July 2022
Taking unwanted items to the tip is cheaper than dumping them, as several west Norfolk residents have discovered to their cost recently.
Most household rubbish can be disposed of free or for a low cost but a fixed penalty notice (FPN) for dumping it can cost up to £300. For serious or repeat offenders, prosecution can result in fines of up to £50,000 and even imprisonment.
Cllr Paul Kunes, the borough council’s cabinet member for the environment and a board member of the Norfolk Waste Partnership, said:
“Fly-tipping is wrong on so many levels and there is no excuse for it. It is a hazard to people, wildlife and the environment, and it makes an unsightly mess that spoils how people feel about our wonderful borough.
“The council has committed to invest more than £300,000 over three years in tackling fly-tipping and we are starting to see results from that, with tips being cleared more quickly and more prosecutions.
“We want to send a clear message to offenders that it really isn’t worth it. We will find out who you are and we will prosecute you.”
The council’s investment plan includes recruiting more staff and buying additional (electric) vans to increase capacity for dealing with fly-tipping quickly, as well as engaging with the community and undertaking education work.
This is already starting to yield results, with 13 FPNs issued since March.
Case studies - photos available
- These items were dumped in Hayloft Court, King’s Lynn. When the waste was examined, evidence was discovered linking it to a person. After consideration of the circumstances an FPN was issued. All this could have been taken to the local tip for free.
- At Sedgeford Lane, King’s Lynn, a fridge, a bedframe and a mattress were dumped. Two offenders were identified and both were issued with FPNs. All this could have been taken to the local tip for free.
- Meanwhile the owner of this mattress was issued with an FPN for dumping it in Union Lane, King’s Lynn. All this could have been taken to the local tip for free.
- Finally a mixture of household and garden waste dumped in Great Massingham also resulted in an FPN. All this could have been taken to the local tip for free.
For people with waste to dispose of, there are tips across the county, including centres at King’s Lynn, Heacham, Wereham (part-time), Docking (part-time) and others nearby that can of course be used by borough residents, including Fakenham and Wells.
Goods that householders can take to the tip free include: garden waste, electrical items, fridges and other large white goods, cooking oil, furniture and soft furnishings, household bin waste, mattresses, metals including bikes and radiators, paint cans (empty or dried out) and much more. ALL these items can be taken to the tip free. Full details can be found on the county council’s website.
Some goods have a small charge to cover costs, for example tyres at £4 each, rubble and timber at £3 per 80 litre sack and flat glass at £5 per 80 litre sack (glass items such as jars are free).
Large items that householders cannot dispose of can be collected using the council’s bulky waste service, which costs £31.50 for up to three large items. A garden waste bin costs £60 per year and is emptied fortnightly.
It is legal to pay a carrier to dispose of waste but to protect themselves from prosecution householders should remember to #SCRAP their waste:
Suspect all waste carriers. Don't let them take your rubbish until they provide proof of registration. Note their vehicle's registration plate.
Check that a waste carrier is registered on the Environment Agency's website.
Refuse any unexpected offers to have your rubbish taken away.
Ask how your rubbish will be disposed of - seek evidence of this.
Paperwork must be obtained: a proper invoice, waste transfer note or receipt, including a description of the waste being removed and the waste carrier’s contact details.
Cllr Kunes added:
“We will always investigate the circumstances before taking the decision to prosecute. But where people have illegally dumped rubbish or given it to someone else without taking any steps to check that they are a licensed carrier, we will take a robust approach.
“Some people blame fly-tipping on the charges for waste disposal but the uncomfortable truth is that levels of fly-tipping are comparable now with when there was no charge – some people just can’t be bothered to go to the tip.
“Most people do the right thing but for people who think that dumping their rubbish is an easy fix for disposal we want to send a clear message: it really is #cheaperatthetip.”