In recent weeks, there have been several incidents of large white dumpy bags of both raw and cooked meat being fly-tipped in East Stoke and Bere Regis.
The dumped waste was reported by members of the public to the council, who dispatched enforcement officers to investigate as well as a clean-up crew from Wareham depot.
Given the amount of meat being dumped, plus the fact that much of it is individually wrapped, it is suspected to have come from a commercial source or someone who has been paid to dispose of the waste on their behalf.
The bags were so heavy that lifting equipment was needed to remove the meat, which had begun to rot and presented a serious health hazard. Each area was cleaned by waste services workers once the waste was taken away.
Evidence found at the scene of one fly-tip in East Stoke was examined by Dorset Council Trading Standards officers, who linked the meat to several abattoirs based in Bedford, Northern Ireland and Wales. Slaughterhouse workers are helping the Enforcement Team with their enquiries, and local butchers have also been contacted to see if anyone has recently been offered disposal services.
Officers are also looking into whether any local premises have recently closed that may have produced this kind of waste.
While fly-tipping remains a problem in most of the country, it is unusual for waste of this kind to be illegally dumped in Dorset. However, the pandemic may have been a factor as many businesses have struggled to sell and use up existing stock, especially those in the event catering sector.
Enforcement Officers are asking residents if they have seen anything suspicious in the areas surrounding Binnegar Lane, Hyde Road, Lower Woodbury Crossroads and Lane End – all in the Wareham/East Stoke/Bere Regis areas – over the last week or two.
Any useful information should be passed to the Enforcement Team via the Tip-Off webpage, e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling 01305 221040.
The Waste Enforcement team stress that if you’re an individual or a business owner, you have a duty of care to dispose of your waste responsibly. Rubbish you’ve handed to someone else is still your legal responsibility until it is correctly disposed of. If someone – such as an unlicensed ‘man in a van’ found on social media – were to fly-tip that waste, you could end up paying a fine or being taken to court.
Cllr Jill Haynes, Dorset Council’s Portfolio Holder for Customer and Community Services, said, “Dealing with fly-tipped waste is unpleasant at the best of times. But investigating and clearing up something as disgusting as rotting meat is something our employees simply shouldn’t have to do, and I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who helped deal with this mess.
“Our Enforcement Team are now on the case and need your help in helping catch the criminals responsible for dumping the waste. If you have any information at all that might help us find whoever was responsible for this fly-tipping, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.”
Fly tipping is a criminal offence, punishable of fines of up to £50,000 – or 12-months imprisonment if convicted in a Magistrate’s Court. The offence can attract an unlimited fine and up to 5 years imprisonment if convicted in a Crown Court.”
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