Fly-tipping crackdown continues across the city

Cllr Nick Kemp and Ian Gallagher YHN at Scarborough Court in Byker
Cllr Nick Kemp and Ian Gallagher YHN at Scarborough Court in Byker

It's a #CrimeNotToCare when it comes to getting rid of your rubbish. 

Newcastle City Council and Your Homes Newcastle have joined forces with environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy to help Newcastle householders understand the risks they take when fly-tipping. 

#CrimeNotToCare is a Keep Britain Tidy initiative designed to help people understand that fly-tipping is a criminal offence, and that people who don't dispose of their waste properly face a possible fine and a criminal record. 

In terms of waste crime, in the past four years, Newcastle City Council has taken 778 prosecutions and issued 972 fixed penalty notices for fly-tipping and similar offences, resulting in 2,760 hours of community payback, 71 months’ imprisonment, and over £268,600 paid in fines and costs.

Fly-tipping blights the streets of Newcastle and diverts essential resources that should be used to maintain a clean and greener city.  Annually it costs the City Council a total of £4.2M to deliver its street cleansing service and fly-tipping is a major drain on that figure.  

This campaign [#CrimeNotToCare] also works in association with the City Council’s own “Keep it Clean” programme, which is aimed at encouraging behavioural change amongst people who litter, fly-tip and don’t pick up after their pets in Newcastle.

Many people don't realise they are legally responsible for their rubbish and that it’s a crime not to dispose of it properly, even if they use an unlicensed handler to remove the material on their behalf.    

There has been a significant growth in the number of small business’ [known as ‘man with a van’] who will happily take waste away for a small charge. If unlicensed companies do fly-tip waste, it's the person who the rubbish belongs to that will be held responsible, and ultimately end up facing prosecution.

Many householders put items outside of their property for collection by scrap merchants, this again is classed as a form of fly-tipping, and residents are risking being fined.

Councillor Nick Kemp, cabinet member for neighbourhoods and regulatory services at Newcastle City Council, said: "We've seen a worrying increase in bulky rubbish and fly-tipping in back lanes all around the city. It has a really negative impact on the area, and makes neighbourhoods really messy, which is totally unfair on the vast majority of people who behave sensibly and dispose of their rubbish properly. It’s not acceptable for people to do this and the Council will take action.

“We will issue fines where necessary, when we can prove who's actually carrying out the crimes. Our prosecution record nationwide is second to none and we have no hesitation in taking people to court in order to reduce this growing problem."

Your Homes Newcastle are the arm’s length body who manage social housing on behalf of Newcastle City Council.  

Ian Gallagher, Assistant Director of Operational Property Services at Your Homes Newcastle said: "Our customers have told us that fly-tipping has a big impact on the estates we manage and makes a huge difference to how people feel about where they live. 

“We know that many people aren’t aware of the laws around fly-tipping, particularly when it comes to giving rubbish to unlicensed waste handlers.   We don't want any of our tenants to be unnecessarily caught out, so if you have items that won’t fit in your waste bin please make sure you have an alternative solution in place to dispose of the materials.”

Here are a few suggestions on ways to dispose of bulky materials:

  • Donate suitable items to charity such as furniture and clothing
  • Use the City Council’s bulky waste collection services (this is a paid for service). If you decide to go down the route of using an independent provider, please check they hold the appropriate licence required to dispose of waste.
  • Also you can use one of Newcastle’s household waste and recycling centres. They can be found at: Brunswick Industrial Estate (NE13 7BA); Byker (Glasshouse Street off Walker Road, NE6 1AH); and Walbottle (NE15 8HY).

The problems of fly-tipping is of even more concern in the lead up to Bonfire Night, where fly-tipped materials are targeted for use in illegal bonfires that are a danger to people’s lives and properties.

For further information about bulky waste collections and fly-tipping, please visit the Environment and Waste section of the City Council’s website

You can also follow the City Council on social media @NewcastleCityCouncil (Facebook) and @NewcastleCC (Twitter).

Likewise for Your Homes Newcastle @yourhomesnewcastle (Facebook) and @NewsfromYHN (Twitter).