A fly-tipping enforcement initiative that has saved Bucks taxpayers more than £1m is 10-years-old this month.
The Illegal Dumping Costs initiative started when fly-tipping levels were increasing by 10% a year. Now Bucks is leading the way nationally, convicting ten times more criminals than other authorities across the country.
Environment spokesman, Lesley Clarke, said: “Fly-tipping is not only a nuisance, blighting our beautiful county, but can be very costly for those who have to deal with the consequences, which is why the campaign was started.
“Ten years on and we are convicting at the rate of one person every week.
“Our message to any would-be fly-tipper is clear; we have a zero tolerance approach to people who dump rubbish illegally and if you fly-tip, not only are you very likely to be caught but you will have a criminal record as a result.”
To date, the initiative has seen 385 convictions made, with a total bill for the guilty of almost £500,000 in fines and awarded prosecution costs.
As well as those who knowingly fly-tip, the council also prosecutes those who indirectly break the law: 40% of convictions are for failures in duty of care, where householders or businesses have not ensured that waste has been managed and disposed of correctly.
Residents are vital in the fight against fly-tipping with a third of convictions resulting from eye-witness reports.
Report fly-tipping in Bucks by calling 0845 330 1856 or report it online at: http://bit.ly/GZj5xo
Fly Tip Facts:
Over 10 years, BCC has achieved a 60% reduction in recorded fly-tipping incidents.
Total tonnage of waste fly-tipped over the 10 years: 24,261 (2.5 times the weight of the Eiffel Tower).
Highest fine/costs combination recorded - £11,000 to pay for a man who dumped hazardous wastes - including sodium hydroxide (caustic soda), in a 200 litre drum in woodland.
A man was sent straight to prison for 14 weeks after illegal dumping on a second conviction.