Liberal Democrat-led Sutton Council has given a clear warning that residents may be prosecuted for fly-tipping should they give their household waste to someone who does not dispose of it properly.
This follows the disposal of tons of waste on a site in Hackbridge which had been occupied by travellers.
The site, on London Road and adjacent to Bed-Zed, has been earmarked for a new primary school. It was illegally occupied by travellers for several days. When they vacated the land it had been left littered with a huge amount of waste materials.
A group of caravans and associated vehicles arrived on the Hackbridge site in the early morning of Wednesday, 13 May, the day council workers had been due to start an archaeological dig, a planning requirement for the new school.
The travellers departed four days later following visits by Sutton Council welfare and education staff with the support of the Safer Parks Police team.
Since then Sutton Council workers have been securing the site from further intrusion by clearing the dry riverbed. It had been filled in to allow access to heavy plant construction equipment. They have also implemented new security procedures including installing a new security gate, a concrete motorway barrier, concrete bollards and CCTV.
The police are assisting Sutton Council in sifting the rubbish waste to identify its origins to pursue prosecutions.
Cllr Jill Whitehead, Chair of Environment and Neighbourhood Committee, said: “Council environmental health officers have been sifting through the rubbish to find addresses which may identify where the waste came from and we may take a prosecution against the people whose waste it is.”
“Any person who gives their waste to somebody for disposal, and they do so illegally, can be prosecuted. You should always check they have a licence to take it.
“If they act illegally, you may be prosecuted even though you may have thought you were disposing of rubbish in good faith. If it is your waste, then fly-tipping is your problem,” Cllr Whitehead said.