Shopping trolley and sofas dumped as crackdown on 'waste crime' promised

Fly tipping at the back of a building on Church Road, Seaforth
Fly tipping at the back of a building on Church Road, Seaforth -Credit:Iain Watts

Sefton Council has promised to crackdown on fly tippers after another huge mound of rubbish was found dumped behind an abandoned building.

Sofas, shopping trolleys and large sacks of industrial waste were discovered on Wednesday May 15 on private land behind the old International Pub in Seaforth.

Fly-tipping is a crime in England, a significant blight on local communities and can cause severe environmental harm. It can also undermine legitimate waste businesses where unscrupulous operators undercut those operating within the law.

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Fly-tipping is defined as the illegal disposal of household, industrial, commercial or other ‘controlled’ waste. ‘Controlled’ waste includes garden refuse and larger domestic items such as fridges, sofas and mattresses.

The Local Government Association has previously gone on record to show the enormous cost of fly tipping to councils across the UK and characterised the offence as 'environmental vandalism' and 'waste crime'.

According to the latest statistics published by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), local authorities in England were called to 1.08 million fly-tipping incidents in 2022/23. The most prevalent fly tipping incidents were those of 'lorry load' size or larger and the cost of clearance to local authorities was £13.2m.

Councils and the Environment Agency both have a responsibility in regards to fly tipping as set out in the Environmental Protection Act 1990. Local authorities like Sefton have a duty to clear fly-tipped material from public land and also investigate incidents on private land and carry out enforcement actions.

The UK Government has recently announced plans to introduce mandatory digital waste tracking from April 2025. This would require those who produce, handle, dispose of waste, to upload information about their activities - helping regulators to better detect illegal activity and tackle waste crime.

In relation to the latest incident in Seaforth, a Sefton Council spokesperson said: “The owners of the private land where this fly-tipping has occurred will be issued with an enforcement notice through our environmental Health service.

“We ask residents and businesses to dispose of all waste correctly and take large quantities such as this to the Household Waste Recycling Centres, which are located in Bootle, Maghull, Southport and Formby.

“As well as creating an eyesore and potential hazard for local residents, fly-tipping costs Sefton Council hundreds of thousands of pounds every year to remove and dispose of.

“That’s a six-figure sum that could otherwise be spent on important local services to benefit people in the Borough.

“We do try to trace and take action against the people responsible for fly-tipping who, if identified, could receive Fixed Penalty Notices or be faced with prosecution."

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