TOP 10 EXCUSES GIVEN BY FLYTIPPERS
‘ I thought it was a recycling centre’
They range from “the waste fell off the back of my vehicle as I drove along” to “I didn’t dump it – I was there, but I only stopped to do a wee.”
Furious members of a waste partnership in Buckinghamshire published the list after bringing hundreds of flytippers to court in a ‘zero tolerance’ campaign over the last 13 years.
Now they hope the catalogue of confessions will help prevent further offences by shining the spotlight on their fight against the illegal dumping of rubbish.
Chairman of the Joint Waste Partnership for Buckinghamshire Mike Smith said: “The excuses range from the banal to bonkers and the bottom line is – there is no excuse for fly-tipping.
“Fly-tipping is a hazard, it’s anti-social and an eyesore. It’s quite wrong to expect the taxpayer to pay for clearing away dumped items and I am delighted that as time goes on, the public and courts are coming on board and helping us achieve really effective prosecution results.”
Since 2003, the partnership – an organisation comprising all the local authorities in the county – has secured more than 500 convictions through the Illegal Dumping Costs campaign.
Officials estimate this has resulted in net savings of around £2million to Bucks County Council over the period, and up to a further million for the district councils, principally through reducing removal and disposal costs.
Bucks County Council’s cabinet member for planning and environment, which investigates and prosecutes the case on behalf of the partnership, Warren Whyte said: “Our officers compiled this list to show the type of excuses that people are making after being caught.
“While initially appearing humorous, this is actually no laughing matter because fly-tipping has blighted our beautiful Buckinghamshire countryside over many years. The extraordinary arrogance of those who dump rubbish in our roads, parks and country lanes is sickening and we will do everything in our power to prevent it.”
Bucks County Council leader Martin Tett said: “We are proud of what has been achieved but we really do need to keep up the pressure and hope that the courts back us with appropriate penalties on conviction. I am amazed at the dumping I regularly see, and am aware of the damage this does to our environment. Stopping this scourge has to remain a priority for us.”
Enforcement officer David Rounding added: “I am continually astonished at the type of excuses given.
“There are some very odd ones, but the excuse that’s number one in our book is the plain ‘I paid a man to take it.’
This is often an easy option but it can backfire as some businesses and householders do not realise that they have a duty of care to ensure their waste is disposed of properly; and they could therefore be prosecuted even if they innocently pay an unregistered trader to do it for them.
“The trick is to always check if the person they are paying is a registered waste carrier.
“We do need people to keep a record of the man with van’s details or vehicle registration number so if the waste does turn up dumped illegally they can tell us who took it away.”
To check whether someone is a registered waste carrier, go to http:// epr.environment-agency. go v. u k / e P R I n t e r n e t / SearchRegisters.aspx.
If anyone spots waste being dumped illegally in Buckinghamshire, they can report it online at www. buckscc.gov.uk/fly.
Rubbish in Shire Lane, Chalfont St Peter
A pile of waste left recently in Stony Lane, Little Chalfont