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Environment, Government, Law, Litter, Uncategorized

Rubbish Dumping and How to Stop it

I once stopped in a lay-by near to my house for a few minutes and noticed lots of flys were flying round something in the field entrance next to me. Wondering what it was (perhaps a body) I went to look. I didn’t get too close as I could see that it was the internal organs of some large animal, perhaps a cow. I reported it to my local council and a few days later I contacted them to ask what it was. It was the offal from a large animal, probably a deer and it may have been roadkill and someone had disposed of the offal. Fair enough, but why dump it on someone else land. I had to pay to collect that waste out of my council tax. They dumped it because they knew they were almost certain to get away with it and if they were caught what would happen. A £60 fine and a slap on the wrist.

Dumping or fly tipping is always going to happen when people can get away with it. A recent item on the ITV news was about fly tipping and someone had made a Freedom of Information request to councils that showed only about 1% of people were prosecuted for fly tipping. Not very good statistics are they and they wont get better without a change in the Law.

Lets start with people who have dash cams in their cars. This footage should be admissible in evidence in courts so that’s one thing the Government can do. Secondly, incentivise people to report rubbish dumping, fly tipping and so on. How about any photographic evidence which leads to a conviction should be rewarded with say £1000 for the first person to report it. There would be a lot of evidence submitted if you could get the chance of £1000. You have to keep the identity of people private here though. I was behind a car stood at some traffic lights they other day when someone threw some rubbish out of the car. I would have that on my dash cam and it would have been easy to send the clip off somewhere. That could have been an easy £1K for me. I can hear people thinking this is going to be expensive. No it isn’t. Make the people who dump the rubbish pay. Yes I can hear people thinking again, but it will cost a lot in administration costs to run a scheme like this. Make the dumpers pay for that as well.

And finally I seem to remember that the police can seize equipment used for the purposes of committing a crime. I might be out of date with this but its a long time since I was young so please forgive me. If however, this is the case, seize the vehicle as well. Sell it and add the funds to the litter reporting helpline or what ever it would be called. If it isn’t the case that they can seize equipment, then change the Law so that they can.

If people thought that they may really be punished for it dumping rubbish they would mostly stop doing it. A £1000 fine, a £1000 payment to cover the reward for the person who sent the video in, a payment towards the costs of running that scheme and loss of their vehicle. That would make them think about being caught, and when people think about being caught and the consequences they probably wouldn’t do it. There was a clip on the news of loads of rubbish being dumped from a lorry. If they haven’t got a lorry they cannot do it again. You also need to make they pay for the costs of clearing and disposing of the rubbish as well and the administration costs as well.

This plan wouldn’t stop littering but it would certainly help a lot. The Government just needs to get tough to make the country a nicer place for the rest of us who take their rubbish home.

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