South East Wales

GPS satellite to crack down on fly-tipping in Wales

Satellite-based GPS technology is to track fly-tipping across the countryside in south and west Wales.

The Fly-tipping Action Wales (FAW) partnership hopes to identify trends and hotspots in nine council areas.

A pilot scheme will share data through information sent from 53 cameras, which aims to speed up the clear-up process.

The Welsh Government-sponsored FAW hopes the £17,000 scheme will help cut the £3m annual bill that fly-tipping costs.

'Hefty fine'

If successful, the scheme, which is launched later on Monday in Merthyr Tydfil, could be rolled out across the rest of Wales.

Image caption An example of how the data would be mapped out

"More than £25m is being injected into the valleys to help maximise the area's potential and we cannot sit back and let fly-tippers blight our towns, villages and beautiful landscapes," said Gary Evans, project manager for FAW in the Valleys Regional Park.

"We all have a responsibility to get rid of our waste legally and safely, and Fly-tipping Action Wales is committed to working with local authorities and other partners to make sure that a strong sense of pride remains in our communities."

Mr Evans said the public could help by only using an Environment Agency registered waste carrier and to ask where its waste was being taken.

"If your waste is found fly-tipped, you will be responsible, and you could face a hefty fine," he added.

Latest figures show that more than 48,000 incidents of fly-tipping were recorded in Wales in the last year [April 2009 to March 2010].

This has resulted in a total clean-up cost of more than £2.7m for Welsh tax payers.

Under the new scheme, all local authority officers will be given a GPS unit to take a photo, record the location, and input the data via a computer.

It will then be sent to a website managed by FAW's Valleys Regional Park team who will download images and data and read the GPS information.

That will be used to display the incident location and photos on a map.

Environment Minister John Griffiths said: "Whilst figures for incidences of fly-tipping in Wales continue to decline, there are still too many and this is costing the tax payer almost £3m per year".

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