Fly-tippers to face heftier fines after hundreds caught dropping rubbish in Tonbridge and Malling

  • Cllr Matt Boughton says fly-tipping causes a scar on communities.

Fines for those caught littering are to be more than tripled in one part of Kent, after thousands of people were caught dropping rubbish during a year-long pilot. 

Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council is the latest to use new government powers to up the penalties for littering and fly-tipping. They’ll rise to £500 and £1,000 respectively.

Cllr Martin Coffin, cabinet lead for transformation and infrastructure, said: "When we prepared the report and looked at the options we had, we wanted to send a strong message.

"Everyone agrees that fly-tipping is absolutely abhorrent, so we will be making it widely known that that the fine for anyone caught doing it in Tonbridge and Malling will now be £1,000."

It comes as one animal charity has warned of the deadly threat discarded waste can pose to wildlife.

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Across the UK, the RSPCA has received over 10,000 reports of animals found injured, trapped or dead from discarded litter in last 3 years – nearly 10 per day.

RSPCA lead wildlife officer Geoff Edmond said: "Our rescuers deal with thousands of incidents every year where animals have been impacted by litter. Old drinks cans and bottles, plastic items and even disposable vapes are just some of the items that pose a danger to our wildlife including hedgehogs, squirrels, deer and foxes. Animals can ingest the litter, become trapped in it or be attracted to old food on the roadside which puts them in danger of moving vehicles.

"Sadly, for every animal we’re able to help there are probably many others that go unseen, unreported and may even lose their lives.

"But it’s really easy for the public to help. When people are out on the roads, we urge them to hold on to their litter until there is an opportunity to dispose of it safely and responsibly - or recycle where appropriate. As we all strive to create a better world for every animal, this could save an animal’s life."

New fixed penalties for littering and fly-tipping in Tonbridge and Malling:

Research by National Highways has revealed that almost half of the people who took part in a new study were unaware that fruit peel and apple cores count as litter.

National Highways chief executive Nick Harris said: "Littering is a dreadful social problem. It’s not just unsightly, it can have a deadly impact on wildlife, turning verges into lethal roadside restaurants.

"We’re working hard to tackle it on our roads, with our people litter-picking every day. To keep them safe we have to close motorway lanes, which delays drivers and costs millions of pounds.

"But if people don’t drop litter in the first place it wouldn’t need to be picked up – so we urge road users to take their litter home."

Fly-tipping figures for 2022-2023 in Tonbridge and Malling:

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