Fly-tipping is an issue that plagues the whole country, one that spoils Kent’s countryside and costs local authorities a lot of money to deal with. This issue is being tackled by the Kent Resource Partnership, a partnership of Kent’s 12 local authorities as well as Kent County Council, with its new S.C.R.A.P campaign. This campaign also has support from external partners including Kent Police, National Farmers Union (NFU), Medway Council and the Environment Agency.
S.C.R.A.P stands for Suspect, Check, Refuse, Ask, Paperwork – a helpful five point checklist to help people stay on the right side of the law.
Fly tipping - the illegal dumping of waste - is an unpleasant crime that can spoil both residential areas and the countryside. Most residents and businesses take their responsibilities over waste disposal seriously, but Ashford, in common with other places, has an ongoing problem with some individuals from both inside and outside of the county continuing to dump their waste illegally.
How you can prevent fly tipping:
- Suspect all waste carriers do not let them take your waste until they can prove they are legitimate. A professional waste carrier should happily answer reasonable questions.
- Check their waste carrier’s registration details on the Environment Agency website or by calling 03708 506 506. Note down the registration number of the vehicle used to take your waste away.
- Refuse unexpected offers to take your rubbish away. If you suspect someone is disposing of waste illegally, report their vehicle registration and name to the Environment Agency.
- Ask what is going to happen to your rubbish and seek evidence that it is going to be disposed of appropriately.
- Paperwork should be obtained. Make sure you get a proper invoice, waste transfer note or receipt for your waste removal – this should give a description of the waste and provide the waste carrier’s contact details.
- Everyone has a legal 'duty of care' to ensure your household or business waste is disposed of correctly. You can be prosecuted even if your waste is fly tipped by someone else on your behalf. Dumpers face the possibility of a £400 fixed penalty notice or, if court action is taken, typically fines of several thousands of pounds or even a custodial sentence.
If it's your waste, it's your responsibility.
Let's take action now and scrap the scourge of fly tipping for good!
The S.C.R.A.P campaign features useful advice for both householders and businesses to thoroughly check anyone who they use to dispose of waste on their behalf. Failure to do so means people are not complying with Duty of Care requirements and they may get a nasty surprise if their waste is found fly tipped.
Even if you can't dispose of waste yourself, there are many alternatives that won't land you in trouble. For example, Ashford Borough Council offers a bulky waste collection service for larger items (starting at £24 for four items) along with the Cobbs Wood Recycling Centre that accepts items such as metal, appliances, wood and garden waste. Alternatively you could consider donating or even selling your unwanted items. You might make a few pounds for yourself rather than having to pay out thousands in fines!