Fly-tipping is national problem, with high levels of waste being dumped across the country. In Sheffield the council is trying to tackle the problem, through better monitoring, reporting and investigation processes.
Two fly-tipping cases were heard recently at the Sheffield Magistrates court, where separate defendants chose to be tried at Crown Court. The council is obliged to engage a barrister to prosecute cases held at Crown Court.
Simon Knowles (52) of Cowley Gardens, Sheffield, was tried at York Crown Court on 23rd January 2019. Knowles admitted dumping conifer waste and pleaded guilty to the charge of fly tipping. The courts fined Knowles £224 and ordered him to pay £1,000 costs to the Council.
In the second case, Rayon Wiggan (50) of Buckenham Street, Sheffield, was tried at Sheffield Crown Court on 1 February 2019. He admitted fly tipping waste including concrete slabs and other construction waste at Buckenham Drive, and was fined £460 and ordered to pay £1,487 costs to the Council.
In the case against Wiggan, a member of the public witnessed a van being used to dump waste, which was reported to the Council’s Environmental Enforcement Officers. The van turned out to be a hired vehicle which they traced back to Wiggan.
The total in fines and costs for both cases was £3,171.
Councillor Karen McGowan, Cabinet Adviser for Environment and Streetscene at Sheffield City Council, said: “Fly-tipping is a crime against our environment. Not only is it unsightly, hugely costly and time consuming to remove, but also has an impact on public health.
“Dumped waste contributes to problems with pests such as rats, which causes further strain on council services and unrest amongst our communities.
“We are working hard to keep Sheffield clean and tidy, in partnership with Amey, and our brilliant communities who organise and take part in litter picks, so it’s disappointing that a small number of people think it’s ok to dump their waste wherever they want.
“I’m pleased that the courts have made these men pay for their actions and hope this will deter them and others from doing so in the future.”
Environmental Enforcement Officers can issue Fixed Penalty Notices (FPN) of £400 to anyone caught fly-tipping. In some cases vehicles will be seized during a fly-tipping investigation.
The council takes fly-tipping seriously and last year issued more than 100 FPNs for fly-tipping and dumping of waste, totalling more than £14,000. Where the FPNs were not paid, or where an FPN was not considered appropriate, the council prosecuted. In all, 19 waste offence cases were brought before the courts, with fines and costs totalling more than £13,000. Four cases led to seizure of vehicles and ten cases are pending court dates.
As well as keeping Sheffield clean and tidy through enforcement work, the council, through its Streets Ahead contract, assists local people in organising community litter picks. Last year more than 450 bags of litter were collected by local people keen to keep their communities litter-free, and another 50 bags were collected last month.
Anyone interested in organising a litter pick can submit their interest through the council’s website.
People who need to dispose of additional waste can do so at their nearest Household Recycling Centre, or they could use the Councils Bulky Item Collection Service which can be contacted on 0114 27 34567.
Business waste must be disposed of using a licensed carrier, and each load of waste has to be accounted for by the business obtaining Waste Transfer Notes which must be retained for two years. Environmental Enforcement Officers may request to see these notes, and they may issue a Fixed Penalty Notice for £300 if the business does not have them.
People who witness fly-tipping can report it through the council’s website or call 0114 273 4567.