Fly-tipping fines 'don't cover cost of council clean-up'
Doncaster Council spends more on cleaning up fly-tipping than is handed down in fines to some who are charged with the crime in court.
Mayor Ros Jones said in some circumstances, courts hand down fines less than what it’s required to clear it up.
The mayor and deputy mayor Coun Glyn Jones, said major change was needed from Government in order to tackle the issue head on.
Magistrates’ courts can impose a fine of up to £50,000 and a 12-month sentence but the maximum penalty is rarely applied. Councils can claim back legal costs but the fines themselves go to the legal system.
Fly-tipping incidents have skyrocketed during lockdown and some also put it down to the rising costs of disposing of waste.
Doncaster Council has successfully managed to bring two prosecutions but a further 21 cases were pending. This is due to a delay in the court system arising from Covid-19.
Mayor Jones said: “The fines that the courts levy don’t mirror in any way the costs that are put upon a council through that process.
“I’m not saying it’s not the right thing to do, certainly what we need to do is take people to task but people need to be fined the appropriate amount of money.”
On the average cost of clearing up dumped rubbish, Mayor Jones said it varies but the costs are increased when asbestos is found in the pile of waste.
“It really depends on the job because if there’s asbestos dumped which is really hazardous to health, then we need to bring in specialists to remove it and we will always ensure we do that, because health and safety is a priority,” Mayor Jones added.
“More and more people are being disrespectful of our areas. So I would urge everyone to report any vehicle, they see flytipping.
“We don’t determine what the courts can fine people and we don’t get the court fines either. We get our legal expenses if we need to cover that but the fines go to the court system and not us.”