Council reminds householders of their Duty of Care following an increase in fly-tipping of builders’ waste
Cotswold District Council is reminding householders to dispose of their waste responsibly and to only entrust their waste to an authorised waste carrier following a rise in the number of fly-tipping reports.
The warning comes following a number of incidents of the illegal dumping of builders’ waste - including materials such as asbestos and concrete, as well as fixtures and fittings - in recent months, which have been centred in and around Cirencester and the Siddington area.
Since the start of April until the end of September, the Council has recorded 531 incidents of fly-tipping across the district; an increase of 15% based on the same period in 2021-22. In particular incidents of construction and demolition waste have risen by almost half during the last six months, with 33 incidents reported.
Councillor Andrew Doherty, Cabinet Member for the Environment, Waste and Recycling at Cotswold District Council, said: “Anyone having work done on their property should check that the person or company taking away their waste is operating legally. Residents have a Duty of Care for their waste, giving them a responsibility to ensure it is disposed of properly. This means people can risk prosecution if they haven’t checked what will happen to their waste and it later ends up illegally dumped.
“We know the vast majority of businesses are reputable and deal with their waste responsibly. However, to help protect themselves and the environment, residents are advised to always ask for a Waste Transfer Note or receipt when their waste is taken away and familiarise themselves with their responsibilities when it comes to passing their waste over to someone else.
“Fly-tipping is unsightly, poses a risk to wildlife and can pollute our waterways - it’s also expensive to clear. It’s not just the number of fly-tips we are seeing which is of concern but the scale. Some of the most recent incidents have needed the hire of a grab truck to remove the waste, costing £300 each time, or in the case of asbestos, a specialist contractor will be brought in to ensure the material is collected and disposed of safely. All of this is at additional expense to the Council and our taxpayers.”
Construction and demolition waste includes external building and roofing materials but also internal fixtures such as kitchen units, bathroom suites, radiators and doors.
The Council also reports a significant increase in the amount of tyres being fly tipped with 26 separate incidents being recorded since April, a rate of one fly-tip per week.
Any individual or business removing waste from a premises should have a valid Waste Carriers Licence or exemption permit through the Environment Agency.
Householders could face a £400 fixed penalty notice if fly-tipping is traced back to them.
Members of the public can check whether a person or company is legally allowed to carry waste by contacting the Environment Agency on: 03708 506 506 or by visiting: Waste carriers, brokers and dealers (data.gov.uk). Businesses who fail to register for or renew a licence, can face a fine of up to £5,000.
Anyone witnessing fly-tipping or who finds dumped rubbish should not touch the items. Instead, incidents can be reported to the council online at: https://www.cotswold.gov.uk/environment/report-fly-tipping/ or by calling the customer services team on 01285 623000 during office opening hours.