CIVIC chiefs, environmental groups, and the police have joined together to keep the Hampshire countryside from being “trashed” by dumped waste.

As part of a new campaign, launched today (June 25), their message is: Fly-tipping will not be tolerated here.

Using the hashtag #ResponsibleRubbish, along with an array social media adverts, the partnership wants to make the public aware of how they can stop the growing trend.

The council says the main aim of the campaign is to make residents aware that if they use an unregistered waste carrier, and their rubbish ends up dumped, they themselves – as well as the tippers – could face prosecution.

Those found guilty face the prospect of an unlimited fine.

Ahead of the launch, representatives from the partner organisations gathered at one of the county’s beauty spots – Farley Mount, Winchester, which has been spoiled by fly-tipped waste on several occasions in the past.

“This campaign is about educating members of the public and to make sure that when they dispose of their waste, they do so responsibly,” said the county council’s fly-tipping chief Gareth Edwards.

“I you get someone to dispose of your waste you must check to see if they are a registered waste carrier.

“You have a duty of care to make sure your waste is disposed of carefully and properly.

“There is no excuse.”

He added: “We are all tax payers and if we are spending money clearing up waste that has been fly-tipped you have to think, what else could that money have been spent on? What services?

“It is disgusting that people still do this when there are waste centres, open seven days a week, across the county.”

As part of the campaign, Hampshire County Council has joined forces with partners including the police, districts and borough councils, Southampton and Portsmouth City Councils, the Environment Agency and rural associations.

County council cabinet member for the environment Rob Humby said: “We’re launching a major campaign as part of a Hampshire wide plan of action to clamp down on fly tipping.

“The real message is that we all have a duty of care to protect our countryside.

“The campaign is all about working together, sharing data and information so we can tackle this problem in the most effective way.”

Dawn Theaker, area environment manager for the Environment Agency, added: “I want to be able to take my daughter out at the weekend to see our amazing countryside, without the threat of her having to see or pick up fly-tipped waste.

“This campaign is highlighting what the public can do to help – it is the best way to keep our beautiful English countryside clean and tidy.

“It takes just minutes to check (if someone if registered).

“And if someone comes to your door to take waste away at a cheap cost, and it seems too good to be true, then it probably is!”

Megan Lock, rural adviser at CLA South East, which represents landowners and farmers across the county, added: “The CLA welcomes any move which helps tackle the blight of fly-tipping in Hampshire, and we’re looking forward to continuing our close work with Hampshire County Council and the delivery of the Fly Tipping Strategy, with other partner organisations.

“It is not a victimless crime. It’s a vicious cycle of costly clean-ups by landowners and farmers who personally bear the burden of waste crime on their land.”