BT last week admitted that one of its subcontractors dumped garden waste while replacing a pole in Somerset.
Somerset Waste Partnership (SWP) is reminding all companies that under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, they and their subcontractors and employees are all potentially liable for any fly-tipping that takes place.
It is no excuse to tell the court that your subcontractor or one of its employees dumped waste without authorisation.
New sentencing guidelines introduced this month mean that big firms responsible for the worst offences could now face fines of up to £3 million.
A SWP spokesman said: “If subcontractors dump waste, whether to save time or cut their costs, both they and the bigger firm employing them could face charges.
“Any company or individual employing someone else to remove waste – builders, tree surgeons, traders or man-and-van operators – has a duty of care to ensure the materials are properly handled and recycled or disposed of correctly.
“If a firm discovers that a subcontractor is using Somerset’s quiet lanes as a dumping ground, they should inform their district council so legal action can be considered, and ensure through careful management and enforcing contracts that such a crime cannot be committed again.”
A wide range of commercial waste services are available in Somerset, while SWP is extending facilities for non-household refuse and recycling at a number of its recycling centres.
Check the SWP website for details of recycling sites, opening hours and materials taken or call Somerset Direct on 0845 3459188. Business directories list legitimate waste service companies.
In April, five of Somerset’s busier recycling sites – Bridgwater, Frome, Minehead, Taunton and Yeovil – began opening 8am-4pm seven days a week.
All Somerset district councils are working together to drive down fly-tipping and deter, catch and convict fly-tippers through new equipment, warning signs, newspaper adverts, further training for enforcement officers, and increased cooperation with the police.
For more information on fighting fly-tipping, visit: www.somersetwaste.gov.uk