War On Fly-Tipping — Government Consulting On New Fixed Penalty System

When you give your household waste to someone to get rid of, how do you know they are not going to fly-tip it somewhere? Only a licenced waste carrier should be used. Now the government is consulting on some new ideas to make householders aware of their responsibilities, and introduce a fixed penalty system.

You can check if a carrier is licensed by checking on the Environment Agency’s website.

The government want to know what you think about proposals to reduce crime and poor performance in the waste sector.

They are looking to do this by enforcing more appropriate competence standards for permitted waste site operators. And they're also proposing to make changes to waste exemptions to prevent them being used to hide illegal activity.

The government are also asking your views on best ways to improve householder awareness of their waste duty of care. As part of this, they are proposing the introduction of a fixed penalty for householders failing to pass their waste to authorised waste carriers. This fixed penalty will provide local authorities with a more proportionate and less costly enforcement tool than prosecuting in court.

It is a currently a criminal offence to fly tip. There are various levels of penalties for fly-tipping, and the maximum penalty includes a fine of up to £50,000 and/or 12 months imprisonment.

Householders are not currently required to complete a waste transfer note describing the waste, there is not an FPN option currently available for this offence and the only option is for the regulator (usually the local authority in this case) to take the offender to court. Every year there are a number of successful prosecutions against householders who have broken the law by failing to make reasonable checks and giving their waste to an unauthorised person. However, these prosecutions are costly for the regulators and for the court, and having a more flexible range of penalties to use could be more effective at changing behaviour and reducing the costs in particular to local authorities. Successful prosecutions also result in householders being left with a criminal record, even if they had no idea the waste was going to be fly-tipped and paid for its disposal in good faith.

This consultation will run for 10 weeks from 15 January 2018 to 26 March 2018.

To take part in the consultation go to consult.defra.co.uk