TAKING OUT THE TRASH
Speaking with Thomas Carter, force operational lead for rural, wildlife, heritage and environmental crime, it soon becomes obvious that fly tipping is a much more complicated issue than we realise. Ranging from abandoned domestic waste to thousands of tonnes worth of industrial waste dumped, the problem is pervasive and persistent.
Some fly tippers might not even recognise that is what they are doing. Many people that consider themselves a part of the ‘free-cycle’ movement are in fact, fly tippers.
Thomas explains: “People think that once they’ve put something outside their house and onto the street and said ‘free to anyone who wants it’ then that’s their responsibility absolved.
“But in its simplest form that is depositing of waste on the highway.”
People should also consider who they are paying to dispose of their waste. Many fall victim to the unlicensed man with van who offers to take rubbish away for a fee, but instead of taking it to the tip, dumps it. “The worst thing about that is if we actually track down the owner of the waste, then the original owner who has paid to have that waste removed could be prosecuted for using an unlicensed waste contractor, so they commit an offence.” Fortunately it’s simple to keep safe: the Environment Agency have a list of all licensed waste carriers.
Fighting the problem, Thomas says, is a team effort between the Sussex Police, the Environment Agency and the district councils, but the public also have a role to play in prevention.
He says: “What we’re really pushing at the moment for Sussex is empowering communities to tell us what is going on.”
The best way to report fly tipping and suspected fly tipping is through the Sussex Police website sussex.police.uk/contact-us/
Alternatively, fly tipping can be reported anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 or on their website