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Officer defends council over threat to pensioner

Created on 25/05/2017 @ 19:39
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A senior Powys County Council officer has defended the authority’s threat to prosecute a 71-year-old woman for fly-tipping.

As exclusively revealed by MyWelshpool the pensioner is due for interview after leaving an old wheelchair outside the Welshpool Recycling Centre when it was closed and being caught on CCTV.

Now Nigel Brinn, Powys County Council’s Head of Highways, Transport and Recycling, says leaving items outside the closed household waste recycling centre posed a potential hazard.

“Earlier this year, the council agreed changes at the household waste and recycling centres in the county which saw a reduction in the number of days they are open,” said Mr Brinn.  “This was widely publicised with each centre displaying the new opening days.

“There has been a problem with some residents choosing to leave their waste at the gates of the site which we need to address for a number of reasons. 

“Firstly any waste left in an area that is not licenced to store waste, such as outside the recycling centres, does present a potential hazard in that it is not controlled as it would be on site.  It also tends to encourage other residents to do the same which will then cause an unsightly mess and, depending on the type of waste, potentially pose an environmental hazard or attract vermin. 

“Furthermore, there will be a delay in opening the site on the days that it is open due to the necessity to clear the entrance to the site, which will cause inconvenience to residents using the site correctly.

“There has always been CCTV at the site in Welshpool as it is a busy commercial waste and recycling site operated by the contractor who runs the recycling centre.  From footage supplied by the contractor to the council, we have been able to identify several people leaving material when the site has been closed, including some hazardous material. 

“In all cases the registered keeper of the vehicle involved has been invited to attend an interview to allow them to give us their side of the story.  We can then take the appropriate action which can range from taking no further action to issuing a caution or proceeding to prosecution. 

“In line with our enforcement policy the action we take will be proportional to the offence committed and where there is a justified reason for doing so.

“With any change in service there will be a period while residents adapt but there is still no excuse for leaving waste at an unmanned site which is effectively fly-tipping. 

“We continue to work with our contractor to ensure that the public are fully aware of the opening days and any site restrictions so that waste is not left to accumulate at the site when it is closed and we will take appropriate enforcement action to prevent this happening.”

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