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Sunderland fly-tippers could have vehicles crushed under new plans

Fly tipping, Children's Forest, Pennywell, Sunderland.
Fly tipping, Children's Forest, Pennywell, Sunderland.

New powers to seize and even crush vehicles used for fly-tipping on Wearside look set to be taken up by Sunderland City Council should proposals get the green light.

The authority’s decision-making Cabinet meet next week where a report is recommending the council adopts legal powers to seize vehicles involved in waste transport or deposit offences.

The powers would be the latest update to the council’s arsenal against fly-tippers and litterbugs.

Under the new powers, vehicles could be seized if they are involved in:

l Transporting controlled waste without a registered waste carrier’s license.

l The unauthorised or harmful deposit, treatment or disposal of controlled waste.

Rubbish left at Deptford near the River Wear in Sunderland.

Rubbish left at Deptford near the River Wear in Sunderland.

l Failure to prevent escape of controlled waste, leading to a defacement of the locality.

l Failure to ensure that any transfer of waste is to an authorised person.

l Upon the transfer of waste, failure to provide Waste Information Forms upon request.

If a vehicle is seized as part of an investigation and is not then claimed within 15 working days, it can be sold or destroyed.

Clean Streets is an Echo campaign calling on the city to be kept litter-free.

Clean Streets is an Echo campaign calling on the city to be kept litter-free.

The proposals come months after the Echo launched its Clean Streets campaign, which calls on Wearsiders to be more responsible for the disposal of waste.

The outcome should provide a cleaner place for residents to live, work and welcome visitors.

Mark Speed, head of place management at the council, said: “These new powers and legislation are all about making it easier for the council to not only stop, but to seize and possibly even destroy vehicles involved in fly-tipping and crime.

“It applies to all motor vehicles, so householders who go fly-tipping could also see their cars seized.

“Updating the council’s environmental enforcement powers is all about helping to keep our city clean and green, and how the behaviours of a lazy and untidy minority are not welcome.”

Since January 2017, the council says it has updated and adopted new legal powers for environmental enforcement.

The adoptions came after a scrutiny committee recommended the council should deal with the perpetrators of environmental crime more appropriately.

Anyone who sees items they think have been fly-tipped can contact the council by reporting it online at sunderland.gov.uk or by calling 0191 520 5550.