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LGA issues fly tipping warning

Councils could face new barriers to prosecuting fly tippers at a time when illegal dumping could be set to rise, papers being discussed by council leaders have warned.   

The warning follows Defra outlining plans to reform the waste transfer note (WTN) system as part of ministers’ drive to cut bureaucracy, the Red Tape Challenge, in March.

WTNs, which detail the nature of the material and their transfer between individuals and businesses, are required to be completed by anyone handling waste as part of the Duty of Care regime.

Local Government Association housing and environment board papers said WTNs provided a “key source of evidence that councils and other authorities can demand in spot checks of vehicles that are suspected of being involved in fly-tipping”.

“Without this evidence it could be much more difficult for councils to successfully prosecute fly-tippers,” the paper said.

The paper, being discussed at the LGA housing and environment board meeting (25 June), added any changes would need to ensure the system of requirement on request for proof that appropriate arrangements are being made for the transfer of waste material was not undermined.

The paper also warned that the ongoing saga which means firms looking to landfill certain materials have seen the cost of disposal rocket could lead to an increase in illegal fly tipping.

Fly tipping has been identified by Defra as a key political concern.

Waste minister Lord Taylor is to hold a summit on the illegal dumping on 26 July, which will focus on fly tipping on private land - a problem Defra estimates could cost up to £100m-a-year.

Defra is understood to be working up plans for a framework of good practice with supporting guidance for local partnership working to combat the issue.

The LGA said it was being asked by Defra to consider whether it could encourage local authorities to accept fly tipped material without charge, providing it was cleared by the landowner and transported privately to the tip.

The LGA is set to establish a position based on discussions at the board meeting.  

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