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Dumpers To Get On The Spot Fines (13/03/07)
The Highland Council are to issue £50 Fixed Penalty Notices to people in the Inverness Area who break the law by illegally dumping their rubbish. This new approach has come about as a result of an update to the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and Anti Social Behaviour legislation which saw the introduction of new powers for Local Authority Officers and Police Officers alike who are now given similar powers by offering culprits the opportunity of discharging any liability for the offence by accepting a fixed penalty notice for small scale fly tipping whether domestic or commercial.
This new approach will be implemented with immediate effect and Local Authority officers will be actively investigating reports of fly tipping and where evidence is found that connects the waste to an address the offender will be visited and issued with a fixed penalty notice.
Since the 1st January 2007 in the Inverness area there have been over 200 reports of fly tipping received from members of the public which the Council’s TEC Service have responded to and uplifted the waste.
Community Works Officer Lorna Jackson said: “This level of fly tipping is a huge cost to the council which must now be tackled by carrying out more thorough investigations. Where the dumping is of a larger scale, the offender will be reported to the Procurator Fiscal for the consideration of a prosecution, if convicted the fine can be anything up to £40,000 and carries the possibility of a six month jail sentence.
“There are of course other powers contained within the Environmental Protection Act 1990 which the Council can use to force landowners to keep land under their control litter and waste free and these will also be utilised where a solution cannot be reached by amicable agreement, these powers extend to private land and can include street litter where the presence of litter on the street or adjacent land has originated from a particular business. Another measure the council will be implementing is the issuing of fixed penalty notices to litter offenders this means that any one caught dropping litter will be issued a £50 fixed penalty notice.”
Although the council find it necessary to implement these tough measures to tackle the problems associated with fly tipping and littering they would encourage communities and community groups to take a pride in the environment where they live and participate in community clean ups.
Keep Scotland Beautiful is an organisation which can provide all the information and support communities need to carry out a clean up and welcome participants to contact them especially during the month of April when events will be organised on a national basis as part of National Spring Clean. Any group that is interested in organising a Community Clean can register on the Keep Scotland Beautiful website www.keepscotlandbeautiful.org where they will receive advice and assistance on organising a community cleaning event.
Meanwhile people living in Inverness are encouraged to recycle their waste and can take recyclable materials to the Waste & Recycling centre, Henderson Road, Inverness which is open seven days a week between the hours of 9.30am to 8.00pm.
To arrange a free bulky uplift people can contact The Highland Council TEC Services on 01463 230634.