The latest government measure to tackle waste crime has come into force this week, with householders whose waste ends up fly-tipped facing a possible £400 fine.

The new penalty comes as part of a targeted campaign to reduce the amount of waste that is dumped illegally and focuses on the household waste duty of care, which requires householders to take responsibility for their waste and ensure it is disposed of correctly.

Householders could face £400 fine for fly-tipping

A record number of fines were handed out by the Environment Agency (EA) for environmental offences in 2017/18, rising from £8 million to £25.5 million, evidence of the government’s concerted crackdown on waste crime. While the EA received additional powers in April 2018 to force problem operators to clear their waste, councils will now have further powers of their own to impose fines on householders who ignore their waste duty of care.

From Monday (7 January), any householder who fails to find a licensed carrier for their waste, and whose waste therefore ends up being fly-tipped or otherwise illegally disposed of, could face a fine of up to £400.

This measure was first proposed in a government consultation at the start of 2018; 88 per cent of respondents said they believed a new fixed penalty notice (FPN) would help to tackle fly-tipping. A majority also felt that the level of penalty was fair, and 95 per cent agreed that local authorities should be required to communicate how frequently they use the penalties.

The government has issued guidance for local authorities on how and when the FPNs should be used in a ‘proportionate’ manner, addressing concerns that councils might be over-zealous in their use of fines. It is stressed that ‘in no circumstances should enforcement be used as a means to generate income.’

The guidance also recognises the need for a cross-boundary approach by local authorities, given that waste can easily cross borders and end up dumped in a different county – or even a different country within the UK. While the FPN will only apply in England, the issue of fly-tipping across national borders is the focus of the ‘Drive out waste crime’ initiative, led by the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA).

It is hoped that the fine will raise awareness of the household waste duty of care and encourage individuals to find properly licensed disposal routes for their waste. On a larger scale, the recently published Resources and Waste Strategy sets out further efforts by the government to address serious and organised criminal activity in the waste industry – for instance, via the electronic tracking of waste movements, which could enable authorities to see exactly where waste is being taken, even across borders. In addition, the government will be creating a Joint Unit for Waste Crime.

By Kate Dickinson | 8 January 2019 | 

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Moving Checklist

From managing the removal company to sending notifications of your change of address, there’s a lot to remember when moving to pastures new.

Moving home is never going to be easy, but being well prepared can be the key to smoothing your path and keeping stress to a minimum.

Avoid Bank Holidays

The countdown to moving day really begins in earnest when contracts are exchanged and the completion date is decided. This is traditionally arranged for a month ahead but it is not set in stone, so try to avoid Fridays and bank holidays when removal companies are at their busiest. Choose a Tuesday or Wednesday instead.

Ask for recommendations

Before hiring a removal company, ask neighbours and friends for recommendations and shop around for estimates. The British Association of Removers (BAR) can provide up to four no-obligation estimates and if you use the services of one of its members, or members of a second professional organisation, such as the National Guild of Removers and Storers, you have the reassurance of knowing you are protected by regulation and a code of practice.

The BAR website also offers an interactive moving guide, which allows you to enter your planned moving day and then provides a week-by-week list of tasks to complete – handy if you are not sure where to begin.

Get the removal company in early

Once you have chosen your removal company and received a written quotation, arrange a visit so they can see how much you have to move and if there are items that require special handling.

This is also a good time to give them a map showing your new home so they can find out about parking and arrange access.

Start preparing

If you have been planning a move for some time, you have probably already started clearing out the house but now is the time to get ruthless. Look at the floor plan of your future home and work out where your furniture is going to fit. If there is no place for it, offer it to family or friends – or to a charity shop or a recycling website such as Freegle.

Now is also the time to begin the formalities, informing services such as the local authority, doctor, dentist and local schools that you will soon be moving on.

Notify others

As the big day draws nearer, you must also inform the DVLA, HMRC, TV Licensing, banks, building societies and credit and store cards companies of your move to a new address, and of course the utilities – gas, electricity, water, phone, broadband and TV or on-demand subscription.

You will also need to inform family, friends and work colleagues, and, if this adds up to a lot of people, you might consider having some cards printed with your new address and contact details.

Arrange petcare

Final preparations with just days to go include making arrangements for pets to be looked after, defrosting the fridge and freezer, rounding up keys to the house and making an inventory of everything that is moving with you.

Write a list

PacknMove offers an excellent free checklist of all these tasks, which you can print out and work your way through.

Download the PacknMove checklist here »

This checklist includes an outgoing courtesy list with information to pass to new owners such as the location of the stopcock and fuse box, and an incoming list of the same information you will need before you move into your new home.

The checklist even includes a “last out/first in” box reminding you of all the essentials you will need to carry with you on moving day, including kettle and mugs, torch, toilet paper, a corkscrew and, of course, a bottle of champagne to celebrate your safe arrival.

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