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WE ARE OPEN

FOR BUSINESS

Coronavirus Safety Aware

NO physical contact with our drivers during visits

ALL communications and paperwork sent via telephone or email

NO paperwork to be signed

ALL staff are strictly following our
Coronavirus Safety Policy

Fly tipping: what's the problem in Stevenage?

Fly tipping: What's the problem in Stevenage?

A good few of us grew up in a time when all waste was put out for the dustmen to collect. The big galvanised dustbin took everything we could throw at it and what didn't fit in would wait until the next collection the following week.

Should the waste item simply be too big to fit in said dustbin, a quick trip to the local dump would have been a regular weekend activity for many. Failing that, those who didn't have access to a car could simply put the old bed frame or fridge out next to the dustbin and the obliging dustmen would whisk it away, never to be seen again. Those days are now set firmly in the past.

Weekly refuse collections in Stevenage are not a thing anymore either. We are expected to pay more for our cleanup services than ever before in the form of council tax, yet the level of service appears to have either reduced, become less frequent or has stopped altogether.

One week we get our garden waste and recycling bins emptied, assuming we feel like subscribing to this extra cost and the following week, the household waste gets collected. Some areas considered a three week turnaround, with recycling waste on week one, household waste in week two and garden waste on the third week, but is this blueprint even workable?

The solution for some of the more militant amongst us is to dispose of their excess waste wherever they can, after all, someone will clear it away eventually, so what's the problem?

Why fly tipping and especially in Stevenage?

Illegal dumping is the proper name for fly tipping and it is typically distinguished from littering because of the type and amount of material left and the way in which it is disposed of. An example of littering could be throwing a piece of paper on the ground. However, emptying a rubbish bin with no permission in a public or private area can be classified as illegal dumping, or fly tipping.

The term fly tipping comes from the verb tip. Remember that some people refer to the local refuse centre as the tip or dump. Tip simply means to throw or discard something, and when one does it on the fly, it means that you throw something away sneakily, without others knowing.

Why do people fly tip in Stevenage?

The reasons people illegally fly tip waste materials can be many fold. Research does appear to indicate that a lack of legal waste disposal options is a primary factor. A shortage of legal disposal options drives demand for waste removal service, which in turn increasing the price. The same research also showed that unit pricing, which involves charging a set price per bag of waste disposed of, may contribute to illegal dumping. Sadly, the rationale behind unit pricing is to encourage people to use other forms of waste disposal such as recycling and composting, but this has clearly not had the desired effect for everyone. Some people end up disposing of their waste in unauthorised areas to save money. There also appears to be rather weak enforcement of the dumping laws that prohibit illegal dumping and a lack of public awareness regarding the environmental, health, and economic dangers that fly tipping create.

Unfortunately, all too often people see it as their right to be able to get rid of their waste materials free of charge. All too often the attitude seems to be 'why pay to get rid of something I no longer need or want?'

Worse still, when someone has sat in line at the local dump for over an hour or so at the weekend, only to be told that they will not accept the persons waste for whatever reason, the waste may just find its way onto the grass verge of a country lane en route back to the individuals home address. People don't want a load of rubbish sitting around at home and when they've spent the time and energy to load up the car and drive to the dump, only to be refused, they get very upset.

What sort of waste is disposed of by fly tipping?

Fly tipping typically involves the unauthorised disposal of many different types of waste. Often the materials dumped include building materials from construction sites, such as drywall, roofing shingles, wood, brick, concrete, and sometimes even asbestos. Other frequently dumped materials include vehicle parts, including tyres, household appliances, household waste, furniture and even hazardous medical waste.

Frequently, waste that has been fly tipped was disposed of by the owners in good faith. They may have paid good money for their waste to be collected and disposed of responsibly, but the collector doesn't have a waste carrier's license, so simply makes a fast buck and engages in a spot of fly tipping, before moving onto their next customer.

Assuming the police in Stevenage don't catch them in the act, the profit margin is pretty good. Once dumped, the waste materials have to be removed by the local authority and this may take some time and the cost will eventually be reflected in all of our council tax bills, and these are already pretty steep.

Surely it's OK to fly tip garden waste!

Fly tipping of any waste is a growing problem, but what about garden waste? After all, this is bio degradable and will eventually rot away as it composts down, enriching the soil as it does.

Instances of fly tipping of garden waste are definitely on the increase, with more reports being received both on highway verges and on private land. Although garden waste is biodegradable, it is still classed as waste, and it is still an offence to illegally deposit it under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 Section 33.

Garden waste can mean any waste coming from your Stevenage garden such as grass cuttings, bush clippings or tree branches. Some garden waste may actually benefit the local wildlife habitat. Hedgehogs are known to thrive when branches have been left in woodland areas, as they make fantastic homes for the prickly little creatures whose numbers have dwindled in recent years, but there remains a problem.

The garden waste you leave in the woodland area may not be native to that area and could potentially introduce disease to the native flora already there. Pesticides that could have been used in the garden can also be introduced into the local habitat, having devastating effects on the flora and fauna that resides there naturally. At the very least, it may simply look unsightly and smell awful as it rots away.

Effects of fly tipping in Stevenage

Effects of fly tipping include health, environmental, and economic consequences. While legal waste disposal locations, such as landfills, are designed to contain waste and its by-products from leaching into the surrounding environment, areas subjected to fly tipping do not typically incorporate the same safeguards. This is why fly tipping often leads to serious pollution of the surrounding environment. This is even more acute when toxins or highly hazardous materials start to find their way into the surrounding soil and possibly the drinking water, then it can actually threaten the health and well being of local residents. Also, rubbish that has been fly tipped can catch fire and pollute the air with toxic particles. Environmental pollution due to fly tipping causes short-term and long-term health issues in many. Short-term issues include asthma; congenital illnesses; stress and anxiety; headaches, dizziness and nausea; and eye and respiratory infections. Long-term concerns may include cancer and kidney; liver; respiratory; cardiovascular; brain; nervous; and lymph hematopoietic diseases.

Not only are there serious health issues due to pollution and toxic waste, illegal fly tipping can present a clear and present physical danger to people and animals in the vicinity. Kids have a habit of playing in such areas and could be exposed to sharp or jagged materials within the waste fly tipped; animals can become trapped or entangled in the fly tipped waste, leading to a miserable and protracted amount of suffering and possibly death.

Fly tipping also attracts vermin such as rats and mice, as well as many more insects. This sudden increase in vermin will also negatively impact the surrounding Stevenage property values. Unsightly and obnoxious smelling build ups of waste discourage commercial and residential developers from improving communities.

In addition to decreasing the property values, fly tipping costs the government millions of pounds in clean up costs. In the United Kingdom, the Environmental Protection Agency spends £100 to £150 million every year to investigate and clean up rubbish that has been fly tipped.

The legal consequences of fly tipping in Stevenage

As stated before, fly tipping is a criminal offence, but from a legal perspective, it can become far more technical.

Fly tipping is committed if controlled waste is deposited, or caused or allowed to be deposited, in a way or place not allowed by a waste management licence.

Fly tipping also refers to waste that is kept or managed in a way that is likely to cause pollution or harm to human health.

It is actually an offence in the United Kingdom to transport controlled waste without being registered under Section 1 of the Control of Pollution (Amendment) Act 1989. There is also a Fixed Penalty Notice of up to £300 for failure to produce registration documents on request. Unfortunately, someone fly tipping is only likely to come to grief if they are caught red handed by an appointed officer from the environment agency, a police officer or are caught on video or camera carrying out the act, particularly if their vehicle registration plate has been captured too.

A classic defence of individuals when caught carrying waste for a business is that they were simply following orders from their boss. However, employees of Stevenage businesses who are caught transporting or handling controlled waste for profit in a vehicle without the business being a registered carrier of controlled waste, cannot use this defence, so acting under their employers instructions will not save them or their company from prosecution.

In the United Kingdom there is an obligation on any producer of waste to make sure that waste is disposed of properly. This obligation even applies to householders and they need to take reasonable measures to ensure that their waste is disposed of lawfully, by providing it to a local authority or business that has registered itself with the Environmental Agency. When disposing of waste to anyone other than your local authority, always ask to view their paperwork. If they are genuine, they will have a waste carrier number, which can be checked on the Environment Agencies Public Register. Anyone breaching this obligation could face prosecution and a fine.

What are the penalties for fly tipping in Hertfordshire?

The penalty for fly tipping depends on the seriousness of the offence, its impact on the environment and the cost of cleaning and dealing with any pollution deemed to have been caused by the act of fly tipping.

Stevenage householders can face a fine if they do not take reasonable measures to ensure that their waste is lawfully disposed of. Repeated fly tipping may result in an Anti-Social Behaviour Order, commonly referred to as an ASBO, being made against an individual in Scotland and Northern Ireland or an injunction.

A fixed penalty of between £150 and £400 can be made against any householder who fails to comply with a notice issued for failing to properly use the facilities available to them to legally dispose of their waste. This includes failing to follow publicised collection arrangements. One thing that many don't realise is that leaving waste out on the wrong day, or even at the wrong time or in the wrong container or bin, can see them handed a fixed penalty notice by their local authority. The local authority must however ensure that collection arrangements have been well publicised and are reasonable. Most local councils provide waste disposal sites and recycling centres where you can safely and legally dispose of unwanted items. Those that do not have the means to visit such sites, may qualify for cut price or possibly free collections from their home address, particularly if they are in receipt of state benefits.

Unauthorised waste carrying and fly tipping by businesses

Lesser offences, such as failing to provide the required documentation or failure of a small business to register as a waste carrier can sometimes result in a fixed penalty of between £150 and £400.

A breach of a business's duty of care to ensure that its waste is disposed of properly may result in a fine. Repeated offending may result in an ASBO, but only in Scotland or Northern Ireland, an injunction and the seizure of the vehicle used to carry or fly tip the waste. This vehicle seizure is designed to interrupt or prevent the illegal activities of the business, particularly if the driver of the vehicle could not be identified at the time of the offence and it may even go as far as the loss of a driving licence.

Prepare to lose your vehicle if caught fly-tipping

The Environment Agency actually has the power to seize and dispose of vehicles used for fly-tipping, so if you thought that this was the sole remit of the local constabulary, think again. Local authorities can also stop, search and seize vehicles they suspect are being used for fly-tipping, although this must be done in the presence of a police officer, preferably one in full uniform. Vehicles which have been used for fly-tipping can also be forfeited to cover the local authority's costs for investigation, enforcement and cleaning up of any pollution caused by the fly tipping.

The courts may order an offender convicted of fly-tipping to pay costs in relation to the enforcement authority's costs and these can run into many thousands, depending on the amount and severity of the fly tipping in question.

Although the penalties may seem reasonably robust for the average private individual, when you consider the many thousands of pounds some unscrupulous individuals make from dodging the waste carriers licence and just fly tipping the waste, knowing the odds of being caught are pretty slim, it's hardly surprising that they are renewed calls to tighten up existing legislation and increase the penalties for fly tipping.

So next time you think it will be easier to fly tip some waste in Stevenage, think about the environmental and legal consequences that your actions could bring about.


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Further Information

If you would like to know more or are interested in a quote we would be happy to help. Phone us on 0800 169 8588, email us at stevenageskiphire@live.co.uk or fill in our enquiry form and we will be in touch as soon as possible.

Stevenage Skip Hire Ltd - Envirowaste Recycling Centre - Jacks Hill - Graveley - Herts SG4 7EQ

Stevenage Skip Hire Ltd
Envirowaste Recycling Centre
Jacks Hill
Graveley
Herts SG4 7EQ

Articles
Time to have a good clearout
Fly tipping: what's the problem in Stevenage?
The waste consequences of Covid
New Bill designed to ban export of plastic waste
The problems with waste disposal in Stevenage
Plastic pollution around the globe
Carbon emissions and the environment
How the five R's can dramatically improve our environment in Stevenage?
Recycle or incinerate! What is the best solution for our waste materials in Stevenage?
Single use plastic products in Stevenage
A guide to what can and cannot go into a hired skip
Recycling your waste materials in Stevenage
The problem with plastic pollution in Hertfordshire
Waste reduction in Hertfordshire
Plastic waste from the United Kingdom may be sent overseas instead of recycled
Just how recyclable is the plastic we use in Stevenage Skip Hire
What happens to all the plastic we throw out
Fly tipping: A modern day curse
Recycled plastic for roads and pavements
Seaweed sachets offer an alternative to plastic
The increasing problem of plastics in our oceans
Plastic pollution in the ocean starts from the rivers
Ways to reduce your plastic waste
Plastic microbeads are a load of rubbish
Waste plastic from the UK is polluting the globe
Hiring a skip from Stevenage Skip Hire rather than using the local dump
Hire a skip from Stevenage Skip Hire for your garden waste
Get a skip and avoid fly tipping in Hertfordshire
Some facts about waste and recycling from Stevenage Skip Hire
Hire a skip instead of going to your local Hertfordshire tip
Hire a skip from Stevenage Skip Hire for your soil and mud
Useful information about skip hire in Hertfordshire
Hire a skip from Stevenage Skip Hire to save you time effort and money
The benefits of skip hire from Stevenage Skip Hire in Hertfordshire
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