Residents and businesses across Cannock Chase District are being urged to help in the fight against illicit waste.
The call comes from a Staffordshire wide group, set up to address the issue of illicit waste, after a number of high risk sites were identified in the county. The group is made up of representatives from all of the local authorities, Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service, Staffordshire Police, the Environment Agency, the DVSA and Highways England.
Dumping of illicit waste is on the increase nationally. Not only does the dumped waste often smell and attract flies, it is also a potential fire risk which could have a huge impact on nearby properties, the local environment and road networks.
Illegal dumping of waste, also known as fly tipping, is the dumping of waste illegally instead of using an authorised method such as kerbside collection or using an authorised landfill site. It is the illegal deposit of any waste onto land, including waste dumped or tipped on a site with no licence to accept waste.
In response to this, the Council and partner agencies are committed to tackling this crime. Residents, businesses and visitors to the District are being reminded to dispose of their waste correctly; and to report any suspicious activities.
Residents are being urged to report to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, giving the registration details of any suspicious vehicles that may be going to and from sites where dumping has already occurred or sites such as rural land or vacant buildings, that large vehicles wouldn`t be expected to travel to at unusual hours.
Businesses are being reminded that they are liable for the correct disposal of their waste and therefore they need to use reputable suppliers with the correct paperwork to avoid prosecution. These offences are punishable in a Magistrates` Court by an unlimited fine or imprisonment and in Crown Court by an unlimited fine or 5 years imprisonment.
Landlords are also being asked to be vigilant and to be cautious about leasing land/buildings to individuals who offer large sums of money. There have been a large number of cases where this has happened only for the land/building to be filled with illegal waste which the landlord is then responsible for clearing at their own expense, which can run into millions of pounds.
Tony McGovern, Managing Director for Cannock Chase Council, said: “The disposal of illicit waste is becoming a serious issue within our District. The recent fire at Oak Tree Farm, Slitting Mill highlights the consequences of this crime and the impact it can have on the wider community. In this instance, positive enforcement action was taken against the two people who had been operating this unlawful site.
“However, this is not always the case, as we don`t often know who is responsible for dumping waste. This is why we need the help of local residents and businesses.
“If you are planning on doing any home improvements or paying a company to do the work for you, make sure you dispose of your waste properly. You can find out more information by visiting the Right Waste, Right Place website www.rightwasterightplace.com”.
The Council is continuing to offer a £100 reward to anyone who provides evidence that leads to the successful conviction of any person, business or other organisation involved in fly tipping waste in the District.
For more information about illicit waste and correctly disposing of waste visit www.cannockchasedc.gov.uk/illicitwaste