COUNCIL enforcement officers have reiterated their tough stance on environmental crime by crushing a vehicle used for fly-tipping.

This vehicle was seized from an address in Sheffield as part of an investigation into environment-related offences after its owner was caught fly-tipping a large amount of household waste in Barnsley.

The council is able to seize a vehicle for a number of different reasons and if the registered owner doesn’t claim the vehicle, the council can choose to sell or destroy it.

In this case, the council crushed the vehicle to send a message to anyone considering fly-tipping or any other environmental offence.

Coun Wendy Cain, cabinet spokesperson for public health and communities, said: “It’s unacceptable that individuals take it upon themselves to blight our local areas with fly-tipping.( “We’re working alongside the police and the general public to tackle fly-tipping by clearing waste and tacking action against those who dump it.( “If you choose to dump waste illegally in the borough then you risk losing your vehicle permanently, losing your driving licence and you could face a hefty fine.”

A Freedom of Information request, submitted to the local authority, revealed that more than £1.1m was spent by the council clearing up from 2019 to 2022.

Costs have steadily dropped since they peaked at more than £312,000 in 2020 - but they’re consistently above £270,000.

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) figures reveal there were 4,549 fly-tipping incidents in Barnsley in the year to March 2022 - though this was down from 5,652 the year before.

A significant amount of fly-tipping in the area last year was discovered on council land, amounting to 42 per cent.

Of the discarded waste, the largest proportion was household-related which accounted for over half, followed by household black bin bags at 18 per cent.

A spokesperson for Barnsley Council told the Chronicle the local authority take the crime ‘extremely seriously’.

“Fly-tipping is an appalling blight on our communities and I condemn those responsible in the strongest possible terms,” they added.

“We take fly-tipping incredibly seriously and are doing everything possible to clear dumped waste in our borough and hold fly-tippers to account for their actions.”