Binman warns of little-known rule that could end with £50k fine and jail time

A binman has sounded the alarm for UK residents about an obscure rule that could see them slapped with a £50,000 fine and potential jail time for fly-tipping dumped by someone else on their property. Fly-tipping is a persistent issue, leaving many to pay for the removal of waste they didn't discard.

John Wheeldon from Wheeldon Brothers, an independent recycling firm, highlighted the little-known regulation that could hit homeowners hard if someone illegally dumps waste on their land. The scourge of fly-tipping plagues the UK, as people look for shortcuts to rid themselves of unwanted trash.

The dumped items often include those not easily disposed of at regular facilities, leading to unsightly rubbish heaps on private grounds. Mr Wheeldon warns that such instances could result in hefty penalties for the landowners.

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"Many people don't realise the legal consequences of fly-tipping on private property," he explained. "Under Section 33 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, landowners can be fined up to £50,000 and face imprisonment if waste is illegally dumped on their land."

He added: "One lesser-known rule about fly-tipping is the responsibility landowners have to remove waste that has been dumped on their property. If they fail to do so, they can face legal actions, regardless of their involvement in the dumping.", reports Birmingham Live.

A total of £784,923 was handed out in fines for fly-tipping in 2023 alone, according to Defra figures. In an effort to prevent further incidents, Wheeldon has encouraged landowners to take extra steps to prevent fly-tipping.

"This includes implementing security measures like CCTV surveillance and securing access points to discourage potential violators," he said. Wheeldon also warned that people should be careful when hiring contractors for property maintenance or renovation projects. "Making sure contractors dispose of waste properly at licensed facilities can reduce the risk of violating fly-tipping laws," Wheeldon explained.

Wheeldon added how actions are required at both local and national levels for the fly-tipping issue is to be resolved. He suggested that launching initiatives to inform the public about waste disposal laws and enforcement actions is key in tackling this ongoing issue.

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