New campaign to combat flytipping ‘blight’ in West Sussex

A joint initiative to combat the blight of flytipping in West Sussex has been launched by a range of different organisations.

West Sussex County Council the county’s district and borough councils, the Environment Agency, National Farmers’ Union, Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner and West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service have joined forces to promote the Let’s SCRAP Flytipping initiative.

As well as reducing the illegal activity, it aims to advise residents how they can avoid inadvertently contributing to the problem, by following the SCRAP code.

This encourages residents to: Suspect waste carriers, Check they are licensed, Refuse unexpected offers to waste disposal, Ask how the waste will be disposed of and obtain Paperwork.

A recent example of flytipping in West Sussex

Flytipping is the illegal dumping of waste on land or in water, and can cause problems to councils, landowners, the public and the environment.

As a criminal offence, it is punishable by a fine of up to £50,000 or 12 months’ imprisonment if convicted in a magistrates’ court.

The offence can attract an unlimited fine and up to five years’ imprisonment if convicted in a crown court.

Whilst large scale fly tipping is usually perpetrated by rogue traders and criminals, householders can avoid unwittingly contributing to flytipping by ensuring they use a reputable company or local trader with a waste carrier’s licence, when employing someone to remove their waste.

Michael Turner, area environment manager at the Environment Agency, said everyone has a part to play in preventing rubbish from being illegally dumped, buried or burnt.

He added: “Flytipping and organised waste crime is blighting our communities and environment. Waste criminals undercut legitimate businesses by offering to get rid of your rubbish at prices too good to be true. Everyone has a duty to ensure their rubbish is disposed of legally and safely.”

Deborah Urquhart, the county council’s cabinet member for environment and climate change, described how flytipping is both a criminal and anti-social offence and ‘there is no excuse for it’.

She added: “As well as spoiling the natural environment and costing tax-payers’ money to clear up, fly tipped waste is incredibly dangerous to wildlife and animals. Consuming waste is likely to be fatal to animals and birds. It is so important that we tackle this problem and ensure that all waste is disposed of correctly.”

The district and borough councils operate the kerbside collections in West Sussex, and collect general household waste, recycling, garden waste and in some area textiles and small electrical items. Larger items and those not suitable for kerbside collection can be taken to the Household Waste Recycling Sites. More information about different types of waste is available online.

For more information on the SCRAP initiative and how to report flytipping visit the county council’s website.