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New £400 fixed penalty fines approved for householders who break waste rules

Householders in Gravesham whose waste is found fly-tipped after being passed to an unlicensed carrier, could face penalties of up to £400.

Gravesham council's cabinet approved the new "Fixed Penalty Notices for Household Duty of Care and Controlled Waste Carriage" at a meeting on Monday night.

Fly-tipping in Grange Lane Hartley earlier this year. Photo: @KentHighways
Fly-tipping in Grange Lane Hartley earlier this year. Photo: @KentHighways

The approval means Environmental Enforcement Team staff can issues fines of between £120 to £400 for "duty of care offences", and fines of up to £300 for "waste carriage" offences.

A report to the cabinet from Environmental Enforcement Services manager Nick May and Environmental Enforcement Manager Tim Harris, laid out the background to the change in rules.

It stated: "At this time Environmental Enforcement staff cannot issue Fixed Penalty Notices for failure of a householder in their duty of care or offences relating to the unlawful carriage of controlled waste.

"The Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) provides an alternative to prosecution. It allows an individual to discharge liability for the offence by payment of a financial penalty.

"This reduces reliance on court prosecution for small scale offences."

Gravesham Borough Council's Civic Centre stock. Picture: Simon Hildrew
Gravesham Borough Council's Civic Centre stock. Picture: Simon Hildrew

Under the Environmental Protection Act, a householder must ensure that anyone collecting their waste has an Environment Agency Waste Carrier's Licence.

They must also ensure they receive a copy of the operators Waste Transfer Note which stipulates, amongst other things, who is collecting the waste, who it is collected from, what the waste consists of and where it will be disposed of.

The report to the cabinet added: "It has become increasingly common for members of the public to use social media to advertise for waste collection and/or respond to cold calls. Often the householders will be quoted unrealistic low prices for waste clearance and fail to check on the credibility of the waste carrier. It is obvious in many cases that the householders do not care where the waste ends up. Often the waste is subsequently fly-tipped. The householder has failed in their ‘duty of care’."

"The householder must take some responsibility for the fly-tipping of their waste, if they have failed to properly check the legitimacy of the carrier.

The report also noted offences were continuing to happen despite publicity campaigns about responsibilities by Kent County Council and Gravesham Borough Council.
Read more: all the latest news from Gravesham.

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