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The maximum fine for fly-tipping in Thanet is set to more than double in a bid to deter people from illegally dumping their waste.

The council’s Street Scene Enforcement team deals with over 5,000 complaints of dumped rubbish and fly-tipping a year, and conducts daily patrols of known hot spots across the district. There is CCTV at key locations in Thanet, which supports the work that the Street Scene Enforcement team does to investigate fly-tipping crimes.

At a meeting on Thursday 29 February, the council’s Cabinet approved a proposal to increase fines for fly-tipping. The upper limit for fixed penalty notices will increase from the current amount of £400 to £1,000. The new penalty will be in place from Monday 1 April 2024. 

Individuals, households and businesses are all responsible for ensuring that waste is disposed of correctly, without causing harm to the environment or to the health of members of the public. This is known as a duty of care, and is backed by legislation. Thanet’s upper limit for fines for breaches of duty of care relating to waste is also increasing, from £400 to £600.

Business owners must use a commercial waste carrier to dispose of the waste their business generates. Residents must use registered waste carriers to dispose of any household waste that cannot be collected by the council’s waste and recycling service. If not, and their rubbish is fly-tipped, they can be liable for fines or prosecution. The council provides a bulky waste collection service, to enable residents to dispose of larger items safely and responsibly. 

Enforcement activity is supported by a programme of education; helping people to understand the responsibility they have to dispose of their waste legally. Signs, leaflets and social media remind residents and local businesses that fly-tipping is illegal and can lead to a fixed penalty notice or a criminal prosecution. 

Cllr Heather Keen, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods at Thanet District Council, said: 

“The council now has the right, under law, to increase the fines for fly-tipping and breaches of duty of care. We take all reports of fly-tipping seriously and will take action against anyone who is found to have dumped rubbish illegally. 

“Fly-tipping affects us all. It’s unattractive to look at and build ups of waste can create a public health hazard, as well as posing a threat to wildlife and the environment, ruining our enjoyment of the district. 

“Residents can be confident that keeping our district safe and clean is a top priority for the council, and we will not hesitate to take enforcement action where we need to.

“Fines are a necessary last resort; it would be much better if people didn’t fly-tip in the first place. Our educational programmes are key to making sure that the consequences of fly-tipping are clear, and that people know how and where to dispose of their rubbish responsibly and within the law. We all have a role to play in keeping Thanet clean and free from rubbish.”

Residents are encouraged to report fly tipping incidents via an online form on the council’s website, where they can view updates on the status of their complaints. Further information on waste duty of care, the bulky waste collection service, and responsible ways to dispose of waste is available on the council’s website. Residents can also take their rubbish to a Household Waste Recycling Centre, and details of these, and how to book a slot, are available on the Kent County Council website

By Ed

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