Number of dumped fridges doubles in Mansfield in a year

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Some instances of fly-tipping in Mansfield have almost doubled in Mansfield in the past year, according to figures released by the district council.

The authority is now appealing to residents to ensure that they use reputable and properly registered waste disposal companies to dispose of fridges after a significant increase in fly-tipping in the district.

From the April 1 to June 22 this year, the authority had 31 cases of dumped fridges compared with 16 in same period in 2015.

It is believed that changes in the rules regarding the safe disposal of fridges has led to many scrapyards refusing to take them.

Consequently some scrap collectors who pick up white goods left out on the street are stripping fridges of any valuable parts and illegally dumping the fridge carcasses.

Residents are warned that they should not leave fridges out in the street for scrap metal collectors as this can be classed as fly-tipping and could result in a prosecution.

Old fridges are accepted free of charge from residents at Mansfield and Warsop recycling sites. Sometimes retailers will also offer a disposal service for an old fridge when a new one is purchased.

Alternatively, the council can also arrange for a fridge to be picked up and disposed of, for a fee of £12.25.

The number of fly-tipping incidents in the Mansfield district and the cost of dealing with them has been steadily increasing for the past three years.

Between April 2015 and March 2016, the council dealt with 1,335 incidents of fly-tipping at a cost of £64,338.

Between April 2014 and March 2015, the authority dealt with 1,059 fly-tipping incidents at a cost of £48,956.

Between April 2013 and March 2014, there were 954 incidents of fly-tipping which cost the council £44,121 to clear.

On top of these direct costs is also the cost of man hours by neighbourhood wardens and enforcement officers responding to reports of fly-tipping.

The council’s neighbourhood wardens investigated 907 fly-tipping incidents in 2014/15. This increased to 998 in 2015/16.

So far this year, between April and June, wardens dealt with 297 cases of fly-tipping which is up from 280 last year during this period.

To help tackle the issue, covert cameras are being considered as a method to crackdown on the problem.

The council has also run awareness campaigns to highlight residents’ legal duty of care in the disposal of waste. This information has also been translated into other languages to help immigrants new to the UK understand their responsibilities.

If waste taken away from an address is later found fly-tipped, it can be the householder who is prosecuted as well as the person who actually dumped the waste.

Between April 2015 and March 2016 the council successfully prosecuted eight offenders. One was fined £600 and another was put under a three-month curfew. There were also 54 out-of-court enforcement actions during this period.

Residents who spot fly-tipping can report it to the council by calling the Contact Centre on 01623 463463. There is also an online form on the council’s website to report fly-tipping at ww.mansfield.gov.uk/Reportonline.

People who come across fly-tipping are asked not to touch it as the council will send an officer out to try to retrieve evidence which could help bring a successful prosecution.

If residents witness fly-tipping taking place the council’s advice is:

*Do not approach the person fly-tipping or tamper with the waste.

*Make a note of the date, time, location of the fly-tipping, what was dumped and a description of the people involved.

*If a vehicle was involved, make a note of the registration number, make, model and colour.

Portfolio holder for public protection Councillor Mick Barton said: “The public’s help is very important in prosecuting fly-tippers. We may be able to pursue legal action against them if witnesses can provide their contact details and a statement.

“We would also like to highlight residents’ own responsibility in ensuring that any waste they wish to get rid of is disposed of in the proper way. This means that householders should make sure that anyone they hire to remove waste is reputable and registered to do so.

“Beware of using people advertising on Facebook in local ‘for sale’ groups because many are not registered waste carriers. Sometimes people use someone they have found on Facebook and when their waste ends up fly-tipped, they are the ones who end up with a court summons rather than the fly-tippers themselves.

“Protect yourself against this happening by using only reputable carriers and taking the contact details and obtaining a receipt from the person who has removed their waste.

“People should also not leave items on the roadside to be collected by scrap metal collectors as those items - particularly fridges - could be stripped of the valuable parts and then be illegally dumped.

“This is a problem that council taxpayers ultimately end up having to pay for, so it is in everyone’s interest to help reduce this problem and the bill for council that it creates.”