Current social distancing guidelines have led to the Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority (MRWA), who operate Household Waste Recycling Centres, temporarily closing their sites.
Unfortunately the Council is receiving increased reports of fly tipping, the illegal act of dumping waste, particularly in open land areas of the borough.
Despite the current Coronavirus pandemic, fly tipping will continue to be investigated by Knowsley Council’s Environmental Health Team. The offence of fly tipping carries a maximum penalty of £50,000 or up to 12 months’ imprisonment in the Magistrates’ Court or unlimited fine and up to 5 years’ imprisonment in the Crown Court.
To assist with identifying offenders, mobile CCTV cameras, as well as over 100 static cameras, are used across the Borough which are monitored 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Cllr Shelley Powell, Cabinet Member for Communities and Neighbourhoods, said:
“The Government has implemented ‘lockdown’ and social distancing guidelines to minimise the spread of Coronavirus and prevent as many deaths as possible. We must all follow this guidance to protect ourselves, our families and our communities. These unprecedented times have called for unprecedented measures including the closure of the tip. While I appreciate that this is inconvenient for some residents, dumping waste in our neighbourhoods is not acceptable. Such behaviour is putting yourself at risk, but others around you too, as well as our officers who need to come out unnecessarily to remove it. There is alternative action you can take to help you manage waste during this challenging time and you are advised to follow the advice from our Environment Health team.”
Advice on managing waste during the Coronavirus pandemic includes:
1) Store any bulky items or excess non-perishable waste on your property until it can be placed in the wheelie bins or until such time that the Household Waste Recycling Centres re-open – when it is safe to do so.
2) Be wary of individuals or companies offering to take your waste for cash. Anyone who removes waste as part of a business must be a registered waste carrier with the Environment Agency. The public register of registered waste carriers is available on the Environment Agency’s website and should be consulted before employing somebody to remove waste. The disposal of your waste is your responsibility and you could be fined for the illegal dumping of your waste by these illegal companies.
3) Recycle as much as possible to reduce amount of waste being put into maroon wheeled bins (residual waste) – please visit Knowsley Council’s website for more information on recycling. Remember that the Council is still operating all of its waste collection services including its recycling (grey bin) service and garden waste (blue bin) service, as well as the residual waste collections (maroon bins).
4) MRWA have launched a ‘Waste Can Wait’ campaign. Go to their website for a range of help, information and signposting on a range of subjects including how to manage food waste – tips and recipes for using up leftovers and store cupboard items, home composting and making the best use of your green waste.
5) In view of the serious health implications linked to any form of burning we are also requesting that Knowsley residents do not burn any waste (garden or other). Smoke from burning waste will have a greater impact on your neighbours and emits toxic substances into the atmosphere. You can read about the impact of burning waste here. If this causes a nuisance to others, you could also be prosecuted.
Please report any incidents of fly tipping on the council’s website. If you wish to report a neighbour or member of your community for burning waste frequently or persistently please email Environmental.Health@knowsley.gov.uk