POWYS is in Wales' top three for handing out fines to fly-tippers.

A publication by the Welsh Government and Fly-tipping Action Wales has revealed that Cardiff (473 ), Carmarthenshire (67) and Powys (57) are the top three performing areas for issuing fixed penalty notices to tackle fly-tipping.

A total of 23,359 waste enforcement incidents (including prosecutions and fixed penalty notices, but also investigations and stop and search checks) were recorded in Wales over the twelve month period, helping to generate a 4.4 per cent decrease in fly-tipping incidents in comparison to 2018-19 (33,542 v 35,076) — the lowest number on record in Wales since 2014-15 (31,713).

Powys recorded the largest annual decrease at 60 per cent, followed by Merthyr Tydfil (36 per cent drop in incidents), Conwy (33 per cent fewer incidents) and Pembrokeshire (a 26 per cent reduction). Meanwhile, Ceredigion recorded the lowest number of fly-tipping incidents in Wales for the second year running.

It must be noted that the report only covers the first three months of 2020. Therefore, the full effect of the coronavirus pandemic on levels of fly-tipping in Wales is still uncertain.

To continue efforts across Wales in the long-term fight against waste crime, Fly-tipping Action Wales is calling on Welsh homeowners to ensure that they are disposing of their excess household rubbish responsibly — particularly amidst the ongoing presence of Covid-19.

Neil Harrison, Fly-tipping Action Wales Programme Manager, said: “To see that fly-tipping incidents in Wales have fallen for the third year in succession is testament to the hard work and commitment of our local authorities that are tackling environmental crime on the ground.

The official figures for April 2020 onwards are not yet available so it is too early to say for certain, based on the latest report, whether fly-tipping has increased across Wales as a result of the pandemic.

We are continuing to work closely with local authorities and wider organisations in Wales to analyse and monitor levels of fly-tipping across the country since the start of the pandemic — which will help to inform our ongoing effort to increase awareness around safe and legal waste disposal.

“Unfortunately, over 70 per cent of fly-tipping incidents contain household waste, which is why I’d like to remind householders to protect themselves by always checking with Natural Resources Wales that the person they use to remove any excess rubbish from their homes is a registered waste carrier. Otherwise, they risk a fine of up to £300 if their waste is found fly-tipped. Householders can also be fined up to £5,000 and end up with a criminal record if taken to court”.

Powys County Council Cabinet Member for the Environment, Cllr Heulwen Hulme said: We are proud to be within the top performing local authorities in Wales when it comes to enforcement and dealing with those responsible for fly-tipping and will continue to work hard to address this ongoing issue in Powys.

“However, we do not dispute that we still have a long way to go to truly tackle this waste crime Powys and wider Wales, which is why we will continue with our zero-tolerance approach and where we can secure evidence, we will always pursue a prosecution in court or issue a fine for those responsible

Fly-tipping is a serious crime. It causes considerable damage to the environment, the economy and local communities — with the consequences being up to a £50,000 fine or imprisonment for the offender.

When arranging the removal of household waste, people in Wales are required to check with Natural Resources Wales that the person or company they are using are a registered waste carrier by visiting naturalresources.wales/checkwaste or calling 03000 653000. Failure to make these appropriate checks could result in a £300 fixed penalty notice if the waste is fly-tipped.

For more information on ways to manage and dispose of your waste safely, legally and responsibly, please visit DutyofCare.wales, follow @FtAW on Twitter or search @FtAWales Facebook.