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Fines of £400 for irresponsible householders introduced in Cambridge

News release from 09/01/2020

CAMBRIDGE residents that do not take reasonable measures to dispose of their household waste can face a fixed penalty notice of £400.

Cambridge City Council approved the introduction of fixed penalty notices to tackle breaches of household duty of care in March 2019 and the new fines came into effect on Monday 6 January 2020.

Under Section 34 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, residents have a duty of care to ensure they get rid of their household waste properly, or face prosecution. Examples of breaching this duty of care include:

  • Failing to hand over household waste to an authorised person
  • An unauthorised person being found with household waste that was handed to them by an occupier
  • Giving household waste to an unauthorised person on a site that doesn’t have a permit

Enforcement action will focus on people who, as a result of not meeting their duty of care, enable their waste to be fly tipped or otherwise inappropriately disposed of. Householders who ignore their duty of care to dispose of their household waste appropriately could face a fine of £400.

The council has just completed a 12 week fly tipping campaign, which focused on reminding residents to ensure they deal with their waste responsibly. During the campaign council officers visited 4,000 properties to speak with residents, offer them advice and to hand out leaflets. The campaign reminded people to check that their waste is being taken away for disposal by a licensed carrier (including businesses such as plumbers and builders) – either by asking to see a Waste Carriers Licence or by looking up the company on the Environment Agency website.

The campaign also encouraged residents to follow the S.C.R.A.P code:

  • Suspect ALL waste carriers
  • Check with the Environment Agency on 03708 506 506 that the provider taking your waste away is licensed
  • Refuse unexpected offers to have waste taken away
  • Ask what will happen to your waste
  • Paperwork should be obtained – get a full receipt

In 2018/19 the cost of fly tipping removal in Cambridge was £85,000, which is money that could be used on other frontline services that benefit residents and the local community.

Cllr Rosy Moore, Executive Councillor for Climate Change, Environment and City Centre, said: “The introduction of these fixed penalty notices supports our robust enforcement approach which is designed to encourage people to take responsibility for disposing of their household waste properly and so make Cambridge a cleaner, greener city.

“We will not accept fly tipping or any other waste crime in Cambridge because we all have a duty to keep our city clean and tidy for both residents and visitors alike. Household waste fly tipping is unsightly, unwanted and expensive to remove. It poses a public health hazard, encourages more dumping and makes it harder for people to take pride in their area. Those who choose to ignore the rules that the rest of us abide by should have to pay the price for their antisocial, criminal behaviour.”

The council uses fixed penalty notices as an alternative to prosecution when dealing with environmental crimes including fly tipping, dog fouling and abandoned vehicles.

Money raised from fixed penalty notices is put back into council cleansing and associated public realm enforcement and awareness raising services including the Community Engagement Team who work with volunteers to keep the city clean and tidy and cleansing services which tackle fly tipping, litter and graffiti.

To report fly tipping in Cambridge go to: https://www.cambridge.gov.uk/report-flytipping  

To check a waste carrier is registered go to: https://environment.data.gov.uk/public-register/view/search-waste-carriers-brokers