A flytip

Flytipping crackdown getting underway

A crackdown on flytipping is getting underway - targeting the minority who litter our streets, coast and countryside.

Like many other areas, the number of recorded fly tips in the county is on the rise. In 2019/20 there were 5,040 recorded instances compared to 3,759 in 2018/19 - a 34% increase. 

The majority of the increase relates to household waste that has been dumped in back alleys and on footpaths in local neighbourhoods.

In response, enforcement activity has also been stepped up, with the number of council investigations rising from 1,438 to 2,514 over the past year, an increase of 75%. 

Now the authority is further stepping up its action - with people warned they face a knock at the door and stiff penalties if caught fly-tipping. Earlier this year a car used for this was seized by the council and crushed.

Councillor Glen Sanderson, Cabinet Member for Environment and Local Services, said: “It is very sad a small minority of people think it’s acceptable to dump waste - whether it’s in their own neighbourhood or further afield.

“What makes it more astonishing is that almost all the waste fly tipped in our county could legitimately be taken to one of our 12 Household Waste Recovery Centres and disposed of free of charge.”

Since the end of July five £80 Fixed Penalty Notices (FPN) for littering linked to fly tipping offences in Ashington & Seaton Valley alone have been issued. The offences are mainly bags of rubbish or cardboard boxes left in the street or rear lanes by householders. If the householder continues the behaviour then the next FPN will be for £400.

From this month the council will be running operations in hotspot areas, including door to door education and enforcement visits, as well as training more staff to deal with littering and flytipping incidents.

There’ll also be an awareness raising campaign around the harm fly tipping causes, reminding people of the correct way to dispose of excess rubbish or bulky waste and making it clear what the penalties are.

Cllr Sanderson added: “This is such a beautiful county and we are rightfully proud of how it looks - it’s one of the main reasons we have so many visitors each year.

“However we will not tolerate those mindless individuals who flaunt the law and whose behaviour affects other people’s quality of life. Over the coming months there will be a range of education and enforcement activity aimed at driving down the number of fly tipping incidents we’re seeing.”

Fly-tipping is illegal and should be reported immediately. The quicker cases are reported, the more chance there is of catching the culprits. You can do this online at www.northumberland.gov.uk   or by ringing the Council on 0345 600 6400.
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