Discarded mattresses, old furniture, bags full of rubbish are being left behind in the weirdest places in towns and countryside. They form an eyesore but cleaning up all this rubbish is a costly affair for all and sundry. The Ghent refuse company forks out 750,000 euros a year to clean up the mess. It’s a mess that in on the increase: in 2018 620 tons of fly-tipped waste was recovered; by 2019 this had grown to 835 tons, while last year the figure was 995 tons.
So far this year over a thousand people have been caught red handed fly-tipping in Ghent. Fly-tippers risk a 120 euro administrative fine and are presented with the bill for the clean-up. Repeat offenders, people who fly-tip large quantities or who don’t pay their fines face prosecution.
Today’s joint session should warm the hearts of all those involved in combating this dreadful social ill, while it also sends a signal to a wider public showing that fly-tipping does not go unpunished. Prosecutors say the public at large experiences fly-tipping as an extremely anti-social nuisance crime that pollutes the environment and lands us all with a hefty bill.
Fly-tippers convicted today received fines of between 800 and 4,000 euros. The average fine was 2,000 euros. One culprit was sentenced to 46 hours of community service.