People caught fly-tipping could be instantly fined £400 under new measures introduced by Daventry District Council.
Daventry District Council (DDC) will be issuing Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) for small-scale instances of fly-tipping to help tackle the problem more effectively.
Previously offenders could only be prosecuted through the courts, which can be costly, time-consuming and often involve lengthy investigations.
The new powers have been introduced under The Unauthorised Deposit of Waste (Fixed Penalties) Regulations 2016. DDC this month set its Fixed Penalty Notice for fly-tipping at £400, reduced to £300 if paid within 10 days of the offence.
There are currently between 60 and 100 instances of fly-tipping a month in Daventry district. It is hoped that the new FPNs will act as a deterrent to help reduce instances of small-scale fly-tipping.
DDC says it will continue to take cases to court where offences are serious and it is in the public interest to do so, or when an offender refuses to pay a fixed penalty.
Councillor Mike Warren, DDC’s health and housing portfolio holder said: “Fly-tipping is an eyesore and a serious public health risk for our residents. It’s a significant problem across our district and the cost of investigating, prosecuting and clearing it up is considerable.
“Experience has shown that when fines are issued as a result of successful court prosecutions, often the costs awarded to local authorities are significantly less than the cost of investigation and clean-up, leaving the taxpayer out of pocket.
“We have therefore set our FPN at a level that will not only act as a deterrent but help us to offset the costs of enforcement and clearance.”
Residents who see waste being illegally dumped or who spot fly-tipping are urged to report it to the council using the self-serve system on its website, which is available 24 hours a day, at www.daventrydc.gov.uk/online. Alternatively they can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01327 871100.
People can check to see if a waste carrier is licensed, or alternatively find a licensed waste carrier in their area, by visiting the Environment Agency website at https://environment.data.gov.uk/public-register or calling 03708 506506. Households paying someone to take waste away are required to check that the carrier they use is properly licensed, otherwise they can be held responsible for any fly-tipping of their waste.