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Caerphilly Council deploys trail cameras to catch illegal fly-tippers

A boat apparently left at a roadside in Caerphilly (Pic: LDRS)

AN “ENCOURAGING” reduction in fly-tipping is partly down to Caerphilly Council deploying technology normally used to record wild animals.

Trail cameras are often seen in TV wildlife documentaries, when passing animals trigger the devices to begin recording.

But in Caerphilly, they are now one of the tools that council environment officers are using to catch people illegally dumping waste.

New figures show Caerphilly County Borough Council recorded the seventh-highest number of fly-tipping incidents in 2022/23.

But the 1,754 reported incidents in that time mark an 11% improvement on the year before, as well as the best performance in the past decade.

Chris Morgan, the council’s cabinet member for waste, told the Local Democracy Reporting Service it was “encouraging to see the rate of fly-tipping in the Caerphilly County Borough decreasing, and I would like to thank our staff and our communities for playing their part in this reduction”.

“As an authority we are constantly looking into new ways to trying to deter people from disposing of their waste illegally,” Cllr Morgan added. “This involves working with our communications team to encourage proper disposal of waste via social media, working with local communities and investing in new equipment such as CCTV and trail cameras to help alleviate the issue and aid investigations.”

The new Wales-wide fly-tipping figures also reveal the huge sums councils have to spend on clearing up illegally-dumped rubbish.

In Caerphilly alone, the council paid £119,000 to clean up fly-tipping last year, and in the past decade spending has totalled a whopping £1.47 million.

Household items were by far the type of waste most commonly fly-tipped last year in the county borough, making up the majority (58%) of all reported incidents.

And the most common areas for people to illegally dump their waste were alleyways (33% of cases), council land (30%) and roadsides (24%).

Cllr Morgan said: “We would ask everyone to remain vigilant and if they see a fly tipping incident, please report it so we can continue to investigate and take action against those who have no respect for the environment.”

More information on how to report fly-tipping and to dispose of waste correctly can be found on Caerphilly County Borough Council’s website.

Neil Harrison, from the organisation Fly-Tipping Action Wales, said: “It remains the case that around 70% of all fly-tips contain waste from households, which is why we are urging residents to protect themselves from unregistered illegal waste carriers and asking them to always check with Natural Resources Wales that the person they use to remove any excess waste from their home is a registered waste carrier.”

Anyone who fails to do so could face a fixed penalty notice of £300, or a fine up to £5,000 and a criminal record if the case is taken to court. The person found guilty of fly-tipping the waste can receive an unlimited fine and up to five years in prison.