Amber Valley Borough Council has introduced new fixed penalties of up to £400 in a bid to combat the persistent problem of fly-tipping.
The council’s cabinet has approved the introduction of new powers recently made available under the Unauthorised Deposit of Waste (Fixed Penalties) Regulations 2016.
The maximum fine allowable under the regulations is £400 and councillors confirmed this will be used in the borough.
Councillor Chris Short said: “Fly tipping is a significant blight on local environments, a source of pollution, a potential danger to public health and is hazardous to wildlife.
“It also undermines legitimate waste businesses where unscrupulous operators undercut those operating within the law. These additional powers will be a big help in tackling this serious issue.”
Figures for 2016 show that Amber Valley received 549 reports of fly-tipping.
The council believes that the implementation of Fixed Penalty Notices will have a positive effect on the number of cases reported, and provide a more cost-effective method of dealing with low level offences than prosecution through the courts.
Enforcement can often be made more difficult by the need for witness statements or court attendance, or lack of credible evidence to identify who has deposited the waste.
For the most serious of cases, or where repeat offences have been committed, there is still the option to prosecute with fines of up to £5,000 if they are convicted by a magistrates court, or an unlimited fine in the crown court.