Cases of persistent fly tipping will come under renewed levels of investigation following the appointment of two new Environmental Protection Officers at Southampton City Council.
The council has sent out a clear message to those who repeatedly dump rubbish that these crimes will be investigated, by recruiting to these two new positions.
The officers are tasked with investigating instances of fly tipping in Southampton with a view to prosecuting offenders. This should deter fly tippers and reduce the cost of clearing rubbish from council and other privately owned land. Their primary focus will be to investigate fly tipping incidents and identify offenders who dump their rubbish in the city. Fly tipping can be reported through the council’s website at southampton.gov.uk/fly-tipping
The appointment of the new Officers will be supported by a communications campaign reminding residents of the stiff penalties they face when caught fly tipping, with a possible fine of up to £50,000 or even a prison sentence.
The campaign will also highlight the impact that dumping garden waste can have, killing the plant life that it’s been left on top of, and potentially spreading non-native invasive plant species in our natural habitats.
Another key message will be the ‘duty of care’ that residents have when they’re booking a waste carrier to get rubbish removed. If the rubbish is found dumped by the waste carrier then the responsibility lies with the person who hired the carrier to show they’d carried out checks to ensure the carrier was licensed. Visit the Environment Agency’s website to check if a Waste Carrier is licensed. Residents should also ask for a receipt for the service and retain that receipt for two years.
Cabinet Member for Stronger Communities, Councillor Dave Shields said: “The cost of constantly clearing dumped rubbish is paid for by every resident in the city, not just the council. We’re asking everyone to show the love and pride they have for Southampton by disposing of rubbish in a socially responsible and environmentally friendly way.
“Prosecuting someone for fly tipping is the worst possible outcome for everyone, we’d much rather people did the right thing and disposed of rubbish through the proper channels, by taking waste to the local Household Waste and Recycling Centre in Millbrook, booking a council bulky waste collection or using a licensed waste carrier.
“The issue of fly tipping is a problem that is on the increase nationally - I want our city to fight against that trend.”