Tonbridge & Malling Borough council have announced a joint operation with Gravesham council & Kent Police Rural Task Force to tackle the issue of fly tipping.
After the operation commenced this week to target unlicensed waste carriers involved in fly tipping and other environmental crimes.
They have already managed to seize three vans, including one which was suspected of being stolen. One man wanted by West Yorkshire police was arrested.
The operation focused on areas in the north of the Tonbridge and Malling borough and parts of Gravesham where unlicensed waste carriers were believed to be operating and where fly tipping has been reported.
The stop-checks also allowed environmental enforcement teams to speak to licensed traders, who lose income and have their reputations tarnished by cowboy operators. Officers stressed the important role legitimate carriers can play by working with local authorities and the police to tackle fly tipping and other environmental offences.
We want to send a clear message to the criminals involved in this activity that we are coming for you and will prosecute you
Fly tippers often target households via social media or local advertising offering cheap rates to dispose of unwanted furniture, building rubble or garden waste. Householders or small businesses found to be using criminals to dispose of their waste can be issued with a fixed penalty notice of up to £400 per offence.
Householders should ensure they receive a written receipt or transfer note, including contact details, description of waste removed and details of where the waste is being taken for disposal.
Cllr Piers Montague, Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council’s cabinet member for waste, said ‘Rubbish being carried by unlicensed operators all too often ends up being fly tipped in our rural areas. We also want to remind householders of their duty to make sure any business they are using to dispose of rubbish has a waste carrier licence. Using an unlicensed carrier means they too could risk a hefty fine.’
Householders can check whether someone is licensed to carry waste on the Environment Agency website or by calling 03708 506506. Fly tipping can be reported via the Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council website.