Waste experts reject criticism of local authority waste services

The Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee (LARAC) hits back at council waste service criticism

The Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee (LARAC) has said that a recent report published by the Renewable Energy Association (REA), claiming that local authority food waste collection services were “self-serving”, should not be accepted as fact.

The report published in recent weeks by the REA suggests that food waste collection services provided by councils across England and Wales do not reflect what could really be achieved under the right circumstances.

 

LARAC criticises biowaste report from REA

Click above to read the report from REA

 

The report, titled The Real Economic Benefit of Separate Biowaste Collections, said that “greater industry wide collaboration and more engagement with local authorities” is the key to improving biowaste recycling across the country.

According to REA, separate biowaste collections for businesses and residents would save money for both councils and businesses alike.

The LARAC also said that a similar report by Environmental Services Association was ‘peddling the myth’ that council waste services are outdated and no longer fit for purpose. Both reports have caused the LARAC ‘dismay’ at the ill-informed notions expressed by the two associations.

According to LARAC, both associations have had “no engagement with local authorities themselves” and yet they claim to possess the knowledge to advise councils on how to improve biowaste services.

Chair of LARAC, Andrew Bird, commented: “…to call for a fundamental change in how local authorities operate without engaging with us first to see how it could work and what the challenges and possible consequences are is disappointing and a missed opportunity.”

Jeremy Jacobs, a director at Renewable Energy Asssocation defended its report, claiming the aim was to assess “the costs associated with separate biowaste collections for businesses and local authorities” and to “add to the discussion about waste and recycling.”

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East Riding council has spent £1m on fly-tipping cleanup

East Yorkshire council spending taxpayers’ money on fly-tipping clean up

According to the Pocklington Post, the East Riding of Yorkshire Council has spent more than £1 million of taxpayers’ money cleaning up fly-tipped waste in the last three years.

Since April 2013, the number of fly-tipping incidents have increased year on year; in total the council has recorded a 11 per cent rise in fly-tipping crime in the last three years.

Council has spent £1m on cleaning up fly-tipping

The council is paying out money to clean up fly-tipping like this one in Grindale, East Riding

 

In recent months, East Riding council has witnessed a significant increase in the dumping of building waste on rural land in the district. The areas of South Cave and North and South Newbald have been particularly affected by this type of crime, which can carry a fine of up to £50,000 and imprisonment of up to 12 months.

According to council figures, there were 2,817 fly-tipping incidents recorded between April 1, 2013 and March 31, 2014 in East Yorkshire, costing the council £350,000 in clear up costs. The following year, there were 2,903 incidents, costing approximately £340,000.

Last year, between April 1, 2015 to March 31, fly-tipping offences reached 3,126. East Riding council has used £350,000 of taxpayers’ money to clean up after unscrupulous residents and traders.

A spokesperson from East Riding of Yorkshire Council warned potential fly-tippers that any instances of illegally disposed of waste will be thoroughly investigated by council officers.

The spokesperson added: “It is vital that householders understand that, to operate legally, firms that remove waste have to be registered with the Environment Agency as licensed waste carriers. If fly-tipped items can be traced back to their owner, they could face a fine of up to £5,000.”

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Wiltshire man sentenced for operating illegal waste business

Scrap yard owner receives suspended jail sentence for waste offences

The owner of a Wiltshire scrap yard and metal recycling centre has been handed a 18-month suspended jail sentence for operating a waste business without the necessary environmental permits.

Lee Hazel, owner of Melksham Metal Recycling, appeared in Swindon Crown Court on two occasions while the court heard the prosecution and defence. He was found guilty of waste offences and was sentenced to a suspended 18-months jail term on February 18.

An enforcement officer from Wiltshire Council discovered fly-tipped waste on land in Queenfield Farm, Melksham, and was able to trace it back to the premises of Melksham Metal Recycling, because of the “chalky liquid” trail that had been left between the two areas. Concrete pipes, chalky stone and road surfacing material were found deposited at the Farm.

The Environmental Agency carried out its own investigations and found that Melksham Metal Recycling, situated in Station Yard, had a waste disposal contract with a masonry company and was operating an illegal waste disposal business without obtaining the necessary permits. The Environmental Agency sent multiple compliance notices to Mr Hazel but these all went ignored.

Mr Hazel pleaded guilty to multiple waste offences in Swindon Crown Court and was handed a suspended 18-month sentence. His company was also found guilty of similar offences, and both will appear at a hearing in June, when fines and costs are expected to be handed out.

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Derbyshire council gets tough with fly-tippers

South Derbyshire District Council prosecutes the third fly-tipper in six months

A Staffordshire delivery driver has been prosecuted by South Derbyshire District Council after he dumped commercial waste on a street in Church Gresley in March last year.

The 50-year-old delivery driver fly-tipped cardboard boxes and plastic packaging materials in John Street, Church Gresley, despite the company for whom he worked possessing a business waste contract for the legal removal of commercial waste.

Safety officers from South Derbyshire District Council were informed by a member of the public about the fly-tipped waste and, despite a lack of CCTV coverage in the area, they managed to trace the dumped material back to the transport company for whom the defendant worked.

Man fined after fly-tipping commercial waste

Council officers took photos of the dumped waste

 

The defendant appeared in Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court last week where he pleaded guilty to illegally to disposing of controlled waste without an environment permit. He was found guilty of breaching the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and was handed a £772 fine, and ordered to pay costs of £962.

This is the third successful prosecution that South Derbyshire District Council has brought against fly-tippers within the last six months, as it attempts to send the message that anyone caught fly-tipping in the district will be punished accordingly.

Councillor Peter Watson, chairman of the environmental and development services committee, said: “Our approach has brought some extremely positive results – incidents of fly-tipping in South Derbyshire fell every year between 2006 and 2014.”

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