'Waste detectives' in Nottinghamshire hit fly tippers with £67,000 in fines

A council in Nottinghamshire says it's hit fly-tippers with fines of more than £67,000 since taking on a team of "waste detectives".

Rushcliffe Borough Council brought in the investigators last year to hunt the culprits down and punish them.

Members of the council say more than 150 fixed penalty notices have been issued up to April this year.

Lucy Hawkins, fly-tipping investigator, said: "so what we are looking for essentially is evidence that we can work with so any letters, envelopes and anything that might have a name or address on.

"So anything basically that we can work with to try and find out who might have done this.

"I genuinely believe in it, I really don't understand why people do fly tip. I'm from the countryside myself, it's a bit of a passion."

Surveillance and monitoring continues across Rushcliffe to take action against fly-tippers Credit: Rushcliffe Borough Council

The reduction in fly-tipping is supported by Rushcliffe Borough Council’s ongoing partnership with Waste Investigations Support & Enforcement (WISE) which has seen an increase on enviro crime enforcement and a four-year low in reported fly tips.

In a normal day, the team say they would attend around five incidents.

The council say the patrols are making a difference.

The action has seen 168 (£400) fixed penalty notices being issued up to April this year to those found to have deposited waste illegally.

It has also included householders and businesses fined for handing over waste to non-registered carriers who have subsequently dumped items.

The council also says complaints from the public are down 60 per cent, the lowest they have been in four years.

CCTV cameras caught roofer Connor Litowczuk turning up at a country lane in Barton-in-Fabis.

There he dumped seven bags of waste. He was given community service and lost his job.

More than 160 fines have been handed out to fly-tippers or those linked with dumped items since January 2021 Credit: Rushcliffe Borough Council

John Dunn, managing director of WISE, said: "We are seeing a visible difference across the borough.

"I would say we have made an immediate impact and it is going extremely well."

The Council’s environmental enforcement operation operates across the borough seven days a week actively investigating potential breaches, and its partner Streetwise has also continued its work to quickly clear fly-tips found to be blighting the Borough.

Bins and signage from the Council also instruct motorists to ‘bin it, don’t dump it’ at lay-bys in the area, backing up continued surveillance on trade waste, and household items being dumped on roads and verges and monitoring sites to catch those in the act.

Cllr Rob Inglis, Rushcliffe Borough Council’s cabinet portfolio holder for environment and safety, said:

“We will always take strong action against anyone who is found to be illegally  disposing of waste and blighting our communities with fly-tipping anywhere in Rushcliffe.

“The fixed penalty notices we have issued over the last 15 months sends a warning we will not tolerate fly-tipping and will not hesitate to prosecute offenders, including using our powers to seize and destroy any vehicles involved.

“Residents and businesses, please always check that anyone you use to take items away from your home is a registered waste carrier by requesting to view the appropriate Environment Agency licence or you too could face a fine.”  

Residents and businesses are reminded to check that any company or individual they employ to dispose of their waste, holds the relevant Trade Waste Carriers’ licence to avoid their unwanted goods contributing to fly-tips or they could be fined themselves.

Credentials of waste carriers can be checked for free on the Environment Agency’s website.

Anyone who wants to report any suspicious activity related to fly-tipping activity can do so at www.rushcliffe.gov.uk.