Vehicles seized and crushed as part of crackdown on flytipping in Sunderland

Five vehicles have been seized and crushed as part of an ongoing crackdown on flytippers in Sunderland.

In the latest bid to tackle problems around anti-social behaviour and illegal dumping of waste, a white Ford transit van was seized from an address in Rydal Avenue, Easington Lane on Thursday, August 11, on suspicion of being involved in a fly-tipping incident that happened in the back lane of Devonshire Street, Southwick in May, which “completely blocked vehicle access along the back lane”.

As part of a clampdown on flytipping, it was the eleventh vehicle seized by Sunderland City Council since August 2019 on the grounds of being believed to have been used in the illegal dumping of rubbish.

Sunderland City Council has the power to confiscate any vehicle they suspect of being involved in environmental crime.

Of the 10 vehicles previously seized, investigations have resulted in five being crushed with a further vehicle due to be crushed in the coming weeks.

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Councillor Claire Rowntree, Deputy Leader of Sunderland City Council and Cabinet Member for Clean Green City, said: "We know that flytipping and anti-social behaviour are two of our residents' biggest bugbears because they've told us so."Flytipping is not only illegal but anti-social. It can be a real blight on communities so where we come across evidence that a vehicle may have been used for flytipping, 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 hope this seizure acts as a stark warning to anyone tempted to flytip.”

The council has also carried out various flytipping investigations, which have led to 93 fixed penalty notices being issued and 35 successful prosecutions, resulting in fines totalling £9,446. It has also recouped costs associated with these prosecutions, totalling £10,358.

This vehicle was seized by Sunderland City Council after being believed to be involved in the illegal dumping of rubbish.

All the revenue generated from fixed penalty notices, including costs and compensation awarded by the courts, is ploughed back into the service and helps pay towards the costs of cleaning up litter and flytipping, keeping roads clean, and enforcement against littering graffiti and flyposting.

Councillor Rowntree added: "I'd like to thank everyone who helps to keep our city clean by taking the time to report flytipping because it allows us to take action against those who are responsible. It's also really important if you're planning to use a private waste collector that you make the proper checks first so you don't unwittingly fall victim to flytippers."As householders, we all have a legal ‘Duty of Care’ to make sure 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. If you don't, and it's found dumped, you could be the one left to pick up the bill."

Anyone who witnesses fly-tipping is urged to contact the Environment Agency via their website or by calling 0191 520 5550.