Blackpool residents could be fined £400 if their rubbish is fly-tipped by someone else

Fly-tipping on Midgeland Road in Blackpool
Fly-tipping on Midgeland Road in Blackpool
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Blackpool residents who use rogue operators to dispose of their household waste could be fined up to £400 under new rules to clamp down on fly-tipping.

The council has adopted powers which mean it can fine people if illegally tipped rubbish is traced back to them and they cannot demonstrate they took reasonable precautions to ensure they used a legitimate disposal company.

It is hoped the move - part of the householder duty of care section of the Environmental Protection Act - will help reduce the amount of fly-tipping which between 2012 and 2018 cost Blackpool Council almost £1.7m to remove.

There were 3,424 incidents in 2017/18 – a rate of more than nine a day.

Previously the council either had to prosecute, which was a long and costly procedure, or give a formal caution which often was not enough of a deterrant.

But changes in the law nationally now mean householders can be held more accountable for their household waste and where it ends up.

A council report says: "It is hoped these changes will encourage householders to think about who is collecting their waste and where it will end up.

"The recommended maximum fixed penalty notice of £400 indicates the seriousness of the householders’ responsibility when having waste collected and the impact irresponsible disposal of household waste has on communities and those immediately effected by fly-tipping incidents."

The new rules mean householders must take "all reasonable care" to ensure they use an authorised waste disposal operator.

This includes taking details of the business and any vehicle used, a record of the operator's registration or permit, a receipt for the transaction including business details, and a copy of the waste licence or site permit.

The report adds: "Fly-tipping investigations of household waste have identified an increasing trend amongst unlicensed waste operators who are now advertising via social media.

"They tempt householders with cheap prices for the removal of large items of waste, including furniture, building waste and white goods which may end up dumped in laybys, on the highways or on streets."

Nationally more than a third of the waste involved in illegal fly-tipping is from households, resulting in waste crime costing the UK economy around £600m every year, according to the Environment Agency.