Keep Leeds Tidy: Calls for a fly-tipping amnesty to fight the litter louts

Calls have been made for an annual flytipping amnesty in Leeds, after the city was named a national hotspot for illegally dumped waste.

Holding regular days inviting people to dispose of bulky waste items responsibly - rather than abandoning them - was one of the ideas suggested by campaigners at a recent anti-litter conference held in Pudsey.

As reported in the YEP, Leeds has been named the 8th worst area of the country fro flytipping, with annual clean-up costs to taxpayers soaring past £1million last year. The number of incidents of flytipping reported to Leeds City Council last year surged to more than 16,000, a five year high and more than DOUBLE the fines for 2013/14. Prosecutions have also been on the rise, with the numbers of people taken to court by the council reaching a five year high (22) last year.

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The council has stressed that the significant increase in flytipping figures is due to improved reporting and recording rather than an actual doubling of incidents. But it acknowledges there is a major problem in the city.

Speaking about Leeds’s flytipping hotspot shame, councillor Lucinda Yeadon, the council’s executive board member for the environment and sustainable communities, said: “Its not a list that you want to see Leeds on.

“It’s a million pounds which could be used elsewhere on other services and it’s incredibly frustrating, particularly for people who do go out of their way to clean up their local community. It’s really important that it is reported so that we can investigate it, because we do take people to court and we will fine people if we know who they are.”

The YEP recently reported the case of a Leeds man who advertised ‘Man with a Van’ services on social media and was fined over £1,700 for illegally dumping waste on a country lane, which he had been paid to dispose of.

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The offence of fly-tipping, and the additional offences of ‘knowingly causing’ or ‘knowingly permitting’ fly-tipping, are set out in Section 33(1)(a) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. Section 33 is enforceable by both the Environment Agency and the local authorities.

The Control of Pollution (Amendment) Act 1989, section 1 makes it an offence for any person who is not a registered carrier of controlled waste, in the course of any business of his or otherwise with a view to profit, to transport any controlled waste to or from any place in Great Britain.