Warning to householders following flytipping incident at Seven Brethren

Some of the waste found flytipped at Seven Brethren

Posted on: 8 March 2019

Following a massive illegal fly-tip of trees, garden and bathroom waste at a site used by travellers in Barnstaple, local residents are being warned not to give work to people who turn up on their doorstep offering quick clear-up jobs.

North Devon Council is urging householders to choose registered waste collectors rather than cut costs by employing rogue traders who offer to do jobs on the cheap. All householders and businesses have a ‘duty of care’ to use registered waste collectors to ensure their rubbish is disposed of legally – and if the waste is found flytipped, they could face a hefty fine or prosecution.

The cost to clear up the recent flytipping at Seven Brethren is estimated to be over £3,000 and if those responsible can’t be traced and prosecuted, it will be the North Devon taxpayer picking up the bill.

North Devon Council’s Executive Member for Environment, Councillor Rodney Cann, says: “If someone offers to clear your garden, make sure they are registered – they should carry a license and give you a ‘waste transfer note’ which explains how and where they will be disposing of the waste they take away. If you don’t make these simple checks and the waste is later flytipped and can be traced back to you – you could face a big fine.

“As the first signs of Spring arrive, people are starting to think about their gardens and this is the time when unregistered tree-fellers, and unlicensed waste carriers can really take advantage. Don’t be tempted to do things cheaply – stop and ask yourself what you know about the business or individual you are employing and if you have doubts then there is probably a good reason. You could be picking up an even bigger bill later down the line if you choose to cut costs and don’t consider the consequences.”

Alan Kyle, from the council’s Environmental Protection team, says: “Residents can really help us by thinking about where their waste is being taken and making sure they are confident it isn’t being flytipped. If we stop giving work to unregistered waste carriers, it will help reduce the amount of flytipping we have to deal with. Please also go online and report flytipping, the more information we can gather about these incidents, the more likely we are to find those responsible.”

The council can issue fines of up £400 for small-scale flytipping offences. Large scale flytipping, repeat offenders, operators in the waste management industry and those tipping hazardous substances will still be dealt with through prosecution in court, where fines can reach £50,000 or 12 months in prison.

Report littering, fly-tipping or other environmental offences online at northdevon.gov.uk/environment or email customerservices@northdevon.gov.uk. More guidance about flytipping and how to choose a registered waste carrier is on the council’s website northdevon.gov.uk/flytipping.

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Posted in: Environment