Hartlepool residents to be hit with £250 fines for using illegal dumpers under new powers
Dirty neighbours who pay unlicensed “white van men” to dump their rubbish will be hit with new fines under a new policy to crackdown on fly-tipping.
Council bosses are introducing a £250 fixed-penalty notice to ensure households dispose of waste correctly.
The ‘household waste duty of care’ fixed penalty notice, as it will be known, will allow the council to fine residents who pay for rubbish to be disposed of which is later found fly-tipped.
The policy aims to ensure Hartlepool households dispose of their waste via an authorised person or business rather than unlicensed operators.
Council bosses said the new fines system will support the £400 fixed penalty charge brought in for fly-tipping in Hartlepool in September 2017.
Philip Hepburn, council community safety operations manager, said it costs the council around £50,000 a year to clean up fly-tipping, and they deal with around 150 cases involving the clearance of over 700 tonnes each year.
Mr Hepburn said: “This is really where the member of the household employs a white van man to come round and says he’ll clear your waste for money and in reality he goes straight down to Worset Lane or Middleton Beach and dumps it.
“That duty of care says the householder should have disposed of that waste correctly. We’re still really after the fly-tipper.”
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Hartlepool Borough Council’s Neighbourhood Service committee supported implementing the scheme at a meeting on June 28.
The committee backed a first choice of a fixed penalty charge of £200, discounted to £150 if paid within 14 days, for first time offenders, and then a £250 charge for further breaches.
However council bosses said they would have to seek legal advice on if the different levels would be permitted under a fixed penalty notice, and if not the charge for all offences would be £250, discounted to £200 if paid within 14 days.
Council bosses said a large campaign will be launched ahead of its introduction warning residents to be wary of how to dispose their rubbish.
Coun Dave Hunter raised concerns unknowing elderly residents could be hit by the fines, but Mr Hepburn said elements of discretion would be used.