'Unwitting' households may face £250 fine if their waste is fly-tipped

The council recently called on courts to hand fly-tippers tougher penalties.
The council recently called on courts to hand fly-tippers tougher penalties.

People who pay someone else to get rid of their rubbish are set to be fined up to £250, if the waste is later found to have been fly-tipped.

Wakefield Council wants to introduce "duty of care" penalty notices, which would be issued to the original owners of the rubbish if it ends up dumped on public land.

The rise of "Facebook fly-tippers" has presented new challenges for councils trying to crack down on the offence.

The rise of "Facebook fly-tippers" has presented new challenges for councils trying to crack down on the offence.

The local authority hopes the move will make people more accountable for their actions, after a nationwide rise in so-called "Facebook fly-tippers" - who advertise themselves as waste carriers on social media despite having no permit to do so.

Under proposals going before senior councillors next Tuesday, householders would be fined £250, reduced to £150 if they pay promptly, unless they can demonstrate they took "reasonable" measures to ensure their waste was disposed of responsibly.

Similar penalties are already enforced for the offence in neighbouring areas, including in Leeds, Sheffield and Doncaster.

A report going before the Cabinet next week said: "Fly-tipping investigations of household waste have identified an increasing trend amongst unlicensed waste operators, who are now targeting householders via social media, local advertising and door-to-door sales pitches.

"They tempt people with cheap prices for the removal of large items of waste, including furniture, building waste and white goods, which inevitably end up dumped on highways or land often just a few streets away.

"Often the householder unwittingly finds themselves the victim of unscrupulous waste carriers who have charged householders for taking waste away only to dump it in a layby.

"These traders rely on householders not asking questions as to whether or not they are registered to carry and dispose of waste.

"Householders should ensure before using any service that they have been shown a copy of the permit, which entitles the person to collect and carry waste."

Last month, the council called on courts to hand out tougher sentences to people guilty of fly-tipping.

It followed suggestions from one elected member last year that the fines being handed out to fly-tippers were "pathetic" and failing to deter criminals.

Local Democracy Reporting Service