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BCP Council set to extend flytipping enforcement pilot scheme

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A PILOT scheme to tackle flytipping across the BCP Council area is expected to be extended until November.

The ruling cabinet was set to have signed off the initiative on Wednesday but there has been criticism of how the scheme has operated so far, writes Trevor Bevins of the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Some councillors claim that many people and businesses do not understand what the rules and regulations are.

A flytip on Ambury Lane in Burton (photo: Dorset Police)
A flytip on Ambury Lane in Burton (photo: Dorset Police)

Cllr Steve Bartlett said there had already been an “adverse reaction” from many of the 249 businesses visited by council staff, most receiving fixed penalty notices for not dealing with their waste in the correct way.

“It indicates that they don’t understand the policy,” he said, calling for a better publicity campaign.

He was also critical of a line in the report which said that the council’s communications staff did not have the capacity to take on the new campaign.

“As I understand it there are 42 people in our comms’ organisation. The thought that they can’t support a trial like this, if those numbers are correct, I find astounding.

"This is an important trial and needs supporting and I would have thought the comms’ team would have been able to do it,” he said.

Cllr Jackie Edwards also called for more education about what could be taken without charge to the tip.

She said she had seen many sofa and mattresses dumped on the street, yet these could be taken by householders to recycling centres without charge.

Head of service Peter Hagan told the recent overview and scrutiny committee that much of the problem came from people who falsely claimed to be legitimate waste disposal firms and flytipped what they collected.

He said that had the mattresses or sofas been picked up by a commercial company there would have been a charge at the tip, but if a householder had taken the items they would be free.

“We are trying to get to those people who say they are a commercial company, collect people’s waste and charge for it, and then they flytip it," he said.

"Part of the publicity campaign will be to let people understand that if it's household waste there is no charge for disposing of it."

BCP contracted out investigation and enforcement for flytipping and flyposting to a private company on a cost-neutral basis in September 2021 with the aim of deciding whether to continue with after a six-month trail period.

The council has since decided that was not long enough even though there had been more than 1,500 flytipping incidents and 200 fixed penalty notices, with 10 investigations and seven fixed penalties issued for flyposting.

The extra time will allow for more publicity, to improve working with the council’s waste compliance officers, and to look at how other councils run their schemes.

A further report will then come back to cabinet in the autumn to make a long-term decision.

A council report said that prior to this pilot project, the authority did not investigate all reports of flytipping and had limited data on the scale of the problem.

It said: “The pilot has delivered its original objectives to investigate all reports of flytipping and flyposting, to take enforcement action where an offence has been committed and fundamentally supports the council’s Cleaner, Greener, Safer campaign.”

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