Councillor: Residents must take more responsibility for what happens to their rubbish

Coun Terry Shields
Coun Terry Shields

A senior councillor in St Helens has told residents they must take more responsibility for what happens to their bulky waste once it is taken away.

Coun Terry Shields spoke out after a white van bed was caught red-handed illegally dumping rubbish on private land in the borough.

The case - which is currently under further investigation- is typical of the many recently reported incidents investigated by the councils Environmental Warden team which has led to a number of recent prosecutions and over 20 Fixed Penalty Notices being issued in the last two months - all but two at a rate of £400.

The recent cases have prompted St Helens Council’s portfolio holder for environmental services to send out a stark warning on the seriousness of fly tipping, and how residents who pass on their waste to unregistered waste carriers with no questions asked are operating illegally and may be liable for fines, too.

Coun Terry Shields, cabinet member for Green, Smart, and Sustainable Borough, said: “Fly-tipping is a crime St Helens Council takes very seriously, and we will not hesitate to take those found responsible to court.

“We have had recent success in prosecuting those found to be guilty of this act which takes up valuable council resources during the removal and cleansing process - while small scale or first time fly-tippers are issued with substantial Fixed Penalty Notices of up to £400.”

Coun Shields added: “All too often we’re hearing about requests on social media from residents wanting bulky rubbish collecting – but my question to them is: Do you know where your rubbish is going?

“People are legally obliged to know where their waste has gone, but if someone offers to take away your waste on the cheap – the chances are it’s too good to be true and it will end up being dumped illegally.

“My message to residents would be to always check the credentials of those offering to carry out removal work before agreeing to do so – by checking they are registered waste carriers listed with the Environment Agency, and by obtaining a Waste Transfer Note for the waste being removed.

“Ignorance is not a defence, and residents who do not exercise this duty of care are actually breaking the law and risk facing prosecution and a fine too.”

Residents can arrange to have their bulky rubbish collected by the council. To find out more or to book a collection, visit

www.sthelens.gov.uk/recycling-rubbish-waste/bulky-waste-collections