Could cash ban help tackle Hertfordshire's fly-tipping problem?

Each incident of flytipping can cost thousands to tackle
Each incident of flytipping can cost thousands to tackle

A ban on cash payments for people who dispose of waste could be the key to fighting fly-tipping.

In 2018-19 there were 12,687 reports of fly-tipping across Hertfordshire - and between April and September there have been another 5,789 recorded incidents. Each one can cost councils or private land owners thousands of pounds to clean up.

Now the Hertfordshire Waste Partnership - which includes representatives from the county council and the 10 districts and boroughs - plans to lobby for the government for tougher action.

Among the lobbying proposals, drawn up by the 'fly tipping group' and backed by a meeting the Partnership on Monday (November 4), are plans to call for a ban on cash transactions for the collection and disposal of waste, from businesses or homes.

The proposals say that cash transactions are 'inextricably linked' to illegal waste operators and waste crime, including fly-tipping.

Bosses say that legitimate operators, who are properly licensed by the Environment Agency, will take cashless payments.

And a legal ban would help them to get the message across that "a cash transaction should be taken as a strong indicator that the individual or organisation in question is likely to be operating illegally and therefore should be avoided".

To support the move the report points to similar action previously taken by the government to ban cash transactions from the scrap metal sector.

According to the report the ban on cash transactions is also being pushed by a number of other local authorities.

Other lobbying points that were backed by the meeting of the Hertfordshire Waste Partnership also include a number of measures to make enforcement practices more effective.

The Hertfordshire Fly Tipping Group brings together representatives from the county's 10 district and boroughs, the county council, the police, the fire service, the Environment Agency, the National Farmers Union and Keep Britain Tidy.