News from the Department of Environment this week: Anyone caught illegally dumping waste could soon face an on-the spot penalty of up to £400, the Environment Minister Rory Stewart announced today.

From 9 May local authorities will be given greater powers to tackle the crime by issuing penalty notices of between £150 and £400 to those caught in the act of fly-tipping anything from old fridges or sofas to garden waste or rubble.

Introducing fixed penalty notices for fly-tipping is the latest move in a government crackdown on waste crime, which costs the economy millions of pounds a year in clean-up costs, undermines legitimate business, and poses serious risks to our environment.

Environment Minister Rory Stewart said: “It’s beyond me that anyone feels it’s acceptable to simply dump their waste by the road – whether in our cities or our countryside. The new fixed penalty notices will provide local authorities with another tool to crack down on the selfish individuals who blight our neighbourhoods and ruin our beautiful landscape. The fines will also act as a deterrent and we will continue to work with local authorities to tackle the root cause of the crime and change the mentality of the few who commit it.” Read more here.