Householders are being asked to help Bradford Council in the fight against fly-tipping.
A large proportion of fly-tipped rubbish is the result of rogue traders collecting people’s rubbish with the promise of disposing of it properly, then dumping on the street and in the countryside.
This allows unscrupulous, unlicensed criminals to undercut genuine waste disposal businesses and blight our surroundings with fly-tipped rubbish.
Many people are not aware that if fly-tipped rubbish can be traced back then they can end up leaving court with a fine, prosecution costs and a criminal record, whether or not they dumped it themselves, or suspected it was going to be dumped.
All householders have a duty of care by law which requires them to take all reasonable measures to ensure that anyone carrying and disposing of their waste is authorised to do so.
If you employ a waste carrier you must have details of the carrier’s business and vehicle, a receipt for the transaction and a copy of the carrier’s waste licence.
If you don’t have these, you can be liable for prosecution if the waste is dumped instead of legally disposed of at an authorised site.
Taking advantage of new regulations which came into affect this year, Bradford Council is asking for new enforcement powers to help them deal with the problem.
Instead of taking householders to court, which is expensive and very time consuming, Enforcement Officers will be able to issue Fixed Penalty Notices to householders of £250, with a £50 discount for early payment.
This allows officers to enforce the law without having to take people to court, and also allows officers to use their discretion when people have tried their best to take precautions but have been genuinely duped.
Enforcement officers will still have powers to issue formal cautions and prosecute people in court for more serious cases.
Members of Bradford Council’s Executive will be asked to approve the proposal at a City Hall meeting on 2 April.
A spokesperson for Bradford Council said: “Issuing Fixed Penalty Notices is not what we want to do.
“What we want to do is to reduce the amount of rubbish fly-tipped on our streets and in the countryside.
“The money raised by the Fixed Penalty Notices will be used to cover the costs of removing and disposing of the waste that is fly tipped, so the Council Tax payer is not left to foot the bill.
“If we can raise awareness and educate people to do the right thing in the first place, then we will have achieved the outcome we want.
“Please make sure that the carrier you employ is legitimate and follows the rules. Otherwise you will risk being seriously out of pocket.”
Fly-tipping can be reported by calling the Council 01274 431000 or online at www.bradford.gov.uk.