Central Beds Council is launching a campaign to tackle the epidemic of fly-tipping that is costing it about £180,000 annually to clean up.
In Central Beds in the past 12 months there have been more than 1,220 fly-tipping incidents. This costs the council an average of £150 a time to clear away.
The #CrimeNotToCare campaign, which launches on March 20 and is being run in partnership with environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, aims to educate householders about the right thing to do with their rubbish and to reduce the amount of household waste that is fly-tipped by rogue traders who offer to take people’s waste away for money and then dump it.
The campaign hopes to remind individuals that if their waste is fly-tipped, even if they gave it to a third party to dispose of, they can be prosecuted and end up with a fine of up to £5,000 and a criminal record.
A recent survey by Keep Britain Tidy found that 47% of people don’t know that they’re legally responsible if their waste is fly-tipped by a third party, for example by a builder they employ; and that 36% of people think it is acceptable to get rid of an unwanted sofa or mattress in a way that is legally classed as fly-tipping.
Cllr Budge Wells, Deputy Executive Member for Community Services at Central Bedfordshire Council, said: “We need the public to understand that their rubbish is their responsibility and they must do the right thing with it. Simply giving it to a ‘man with a van’ who offers to get rid of it cheaply could prove costly for people and result in them getting a criminal record. The public has a duty of care and this campaign will help explain to them exactly what that is and how to protect themselves.”
Allison Ogden-Newton, Chief Executive of Keep Britain Tidy, said: “We are delighted that Central Bedfordshire Council is partnering with us on our ‘CrimeNotToCare’ campaign. Nationally there are almost a million fly-tipping incidents in England every year and cleaning it all up costs us more than £50million a year. It blights communities and our countryside and is a menace. We need the public to understand that their rubbish is their responsibility and they must do the right thing with it.”
For details of your responsibilities for disposing of unwanted items safely and how to report fly tipping, visit www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/fly-tipping.