A MAJOR crackdown on the blight of fly-tipping got under way this week.

Hampshire County Council has joined forces with the police, the district and borough councils across the county, Southampton and Portsmouth city councils, the Environment Agency and rural associations to stamp out the dumping of waste.

The aim of the campaign is to help everyone understand they have a part to play by checking that any individual or company employed to take away waste from homes or businesses is legally registered to do so.

There are 26 household waste recycling centres in Hampshire, which are open seven days a week except Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, and most waste is free to dispose of.

Fly-tipping has been on the increase and the illegal dumping of waste damages the environment, risks public health and costs taxpayers money to clean up.

It is illegal to dump waste on land where there is no waste management licence, including public highways, give waste to someone else to fly-tip and leave rubbish or waste outside household waste recycling centres.

Offenders could be fined an unlimited amount by their local council if their waste ends up fly-tipped and they cannot show that they took reasonable steps to prevent it. If convicted at court, the maximum fine is unlimited and the offender could face up to 12 months in prison.