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Tipping point

Tipping point

August 19, 2016
Fly-tipping

Last year, more than 15,000 tonnes of fly-tipped waste was cleared from the streets and open spaces of the borough. This mountain of dumped rubbish cost the council more than £200,000 of tax payers’ money to clean up.

In March this year, Ealing Council cleared more than 160 tonnes of waste from Warren Farm in Southall alone, costing nearly £50,000. The perpetrators are being pursued and it is possible to trace the waste itself back to the homes and businesses that paid the perpetrators to take it away and be illegally dumped. They could face big fines. You can watch a video of the waste at Warren Farm.

What is fly-tipping?
Fly-tipping dumped in a street
Fly-tipping dumped in a street

Fly-tipping is the illegal dumping of waste on land not licensed to receive it. It could be anything from a single bag of rubbish, to a mattress or a bed, to mounds of builder’s rubble and garden waste. Or, all of that and more.

Not only does it cost a substantial amount of public money to clear up, it can be dangerous to health, and pollutes our land and waterways.

It is your responsibility

If you are carrying out household clearances or working on DIY projects you must either:

  1. Use one of the council’s services. You can dispose of DIY waste at Greenford Re-use and Recycling Centre. To find out what you can recycle for free, and how, visit www.ealing.gov.uk/recycling. Non-recyclable (or unsorted) DIY items cost £23 for every 100kg of waste. The council also offers a bulky waste collection service and will collect up to eight items for £40. Residents can share bulky collections with friends and neighbours, but the items must all be collected from one location
  2. Use a skip company approved by the council. All the approved skip companies are listed on the council’s website at www.ealing.gov.uk/skips
  3. Or hire a reputable waste clearance firm registered with the Environment Agency. You can check if a waste clearance firm is registered by calling 08708 506 506 or using an online register.
‘You could be fined thousands of pounds’

Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, the council’s cabinet member for transport, environment and leisure, said: “You have a legal responsibility to ensure that your waste is disposed of properly. Some people may think that giving someone who isn’t registered a few quid to cart off their rubbish is harmless. But it is not. They are unscrupulous and will dump the waste wherever they can. It then becomes you, as local tax payers, who end up paying for it to be cleared up.

“But that is not all. If illegally dumped waste is traced back to your property, you could be fined thousands of pounds. There is often more evidence of where it originated from than you might think. It is also an offence to permit fly-tipping on your land or land that you rent.

“The fly-tippers themselves risk prosecution. Illegally dumping rubbish is a serious criminal offence and carries a maximum penalty of an unlimited fine or up to five years’ imprisonment. The police also have the powers to seize vehicles used for fly-tipping – and it is possible for a prosecution to occur when only the vehicle, not the driver, is identifiable.

“All fly-tipping is anti-social, dangerous and a blight on our borough.”

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has recently introduced fixed penalty notices that means anyone caught illegally dumping waste can now face an on-the-spot penalty of £400. Ealing Council recently became one of the first London boroughs to implement the fine.

If you discover a fly-tip…

Do not touch the fly-tipped waste because it may be dangerous and you could contaminate evidence that can help to catch offenders. You can help the council catch the culprits by providing the following information: Exact location; a description of the kinds of items that have been dumped; the approximate size of the waste.

You can report it by calling the council’s customer services on 020 8825 8825 or online at www.ealing.gov.uk/reportit