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Fly-tippers risk being stripped of vehicles this Christmas

Published November 23, 2020 1.31pm

Enforcement officers are warning fly-tippers that they risk being stripped of their vehicles this Christmas.

Van being crushed

Durham County Council neighbourhood protection manager Ian Hoult at North East Salvage where the seized vehicles were crushed.

The warning comes after a number of vehicles found to have been used in fly-tipping incidents in County Durham were taken off their owners for good.

Our neighbourhood seized four vehicles as part of Operation Stop It, which aims to educate people on the need to dispose of waste safely and prosecute those responsible for fly-tipping.

One vehicle found to have been used a fly-tipping incident was sold at auction while two which were no longer roadworthy were crushed. Another vehicle found abandoned and similarly no longer roadworthy was also crushed. The crushing of the vehicles took place at North East Salvage in Peterlee on the council's behalf.

The maximum fine for fly-tipping can be as much as £50,000. 


Reduction in fly-tipping

Ian Hoult, our neighbourhood protection manager, said: "These vehicles were seized as part of Operation Stop It, an ongoing investigation into fly-tipping.

"This is the sort of thing that can happen if you are caught fly-tipping with your vehicle.

"We will take them away from you, we will look to seize them and we will look to sell them at auction or if they are not roadworthy crush them.

"Operation Stop It has been going for some time now and we have been really pleased, overall, about the reduction in fly-tipping in County Durham up to April 2020.

"Our residents tell us on an ongoing basis that it is an issue for their areas and it is really important that we continue to tackle it."

Ongoing investigations 

There are currently 45 Operation Stop It investigations into fly-tipping ongoing and a total of 15 vehicles have been seized as part of investigations since April.

In February this year we invested £500,000 in the recruitment of 11 new wardens as part of efforts to ensure previous reductions in activities like fly-tipping are built on.

The £31million investment in frontline services included the biggest ever recruitment drive for wardens we have seen. Some of our wardens are now able to focus solely on investigating fly-tipping.

Residents are advised not to employ anyone to take unwanted waste away without checking to see a registered waste carrier licence.

It is a person's own responsibility to ensure they are disposing of waste properly and there is no excuse not to do so.

Waste removal options

Waste can be taken to one of our Household Waste Recycling Centres free of charge and bulky collections (large items) can be taken away for a fee.

For more information about booking a bulky waste collection go to the Bulky waste page. 

Incidents of flytipping can be reported using our Report flytipping form.

Anyone who witnesses flytipping (and it is safe to do so), should take a note of:

  • the vehicle make, model, colour and registration number
  • what was dumped
  • a description of the flytippers

Watch our video interview with Ian Hoult who explains more about Operation Stop It on YouTube