Vehicle seized on suspicion of being involved in fly-tipping
A van has been seized on Blue House Lane (A1290) Washington on suspicion of being involved in fly-tipping.
On Monday morning, the van was witnessed by Environmental Enforcement Officers travelling along Blue House Lane (A1290) Washington. The van pulled over into a service station, where it was seized by Sunderland City Council on suspicion that it had been used in two separate fly-tipping incidents, which both occurred on Foxcover Lane in June and August earlier this year. Both incidents were captured on CCTV.
This follows similar seizures where vehicles believed to have been used in fly-tipping were removed from outside addresses after reportedly being used in similar offences. Of the five vehicles seized since April last year, subsequent investigations resulted in two vehicles later being crushed. A third is due to be crushed in coming weeks, while two were returned to their owners.
Councils have powers which allow them to confiscate any vehicle they suspect has been involved in environmental crime or fly-tipping. Owners can request to claim their vehicle back and the council will decide as to whether the vehicle will be returned. If a decision is made not to return the vehicle this could result in the vehicle being crushed or sold.
Councillor Claire Rowntree, Deputy Leader of Sunderland City Council, said: "Fly-tipping is not only anti-social but illegal and I hope this seizure acts as a stark warning to anyone tempted to fly-tip.
"We know it's something that our residents feel really strongly about. Fly-tipping can be a real blight on communities so where we come across evidence that a vehicle may have been used for fly-tipping, we use our legal powers to seize it. If the owner doesn't come forward within a certain period of time to claim it and provide the relevant documentation, we look to use these powers to either crush it or sell it.
"I'd like to thank everyone who helps to keep our city clean by taking the time to report fly-tipping because it allows us to take action against those who are responsible. But it's also really important for anyone planning to use a private waste collector to dispose of their waste, to make the proper checks first so that they don't unwittingly fall victim to fly-tippers.
"As householders, we all have a legal 'Duty of Care' to see that our waste is disposed of lawfully so if you are arranging a private collection you need to check where the waste is going and whether they have a valid waste carrier's licence. Not doing this could result in your having to pick up the bill if the collector you've used goes on to dump your waste elsewhere."
Anyone planning to use a private waste collector should check with the Environment Agency that the person or company concerned has a licence by visiting their website https://www.gov.uk/guidance/access-the-public-register-for-environmental-information or by calling them on 08708 506 506. If you witness fly-tipping you can report it anonymously to https://www.sunderland.gov.uk/report-flytipping or by calling 0191 520 5550.