A new campaign to stop people illegally dumping their rubbish in Leicestershire has launched.
The #IfOnly campaign has seen councils across the city and county join forces to warn people that they face tough action if they are caught fly-tipping.
The consequences for their actions can range from a £400 fixed penalty notice to an unlimited fine, a criminal record or time in prison.
Fly-tipping is a huge problem in Leicester and across each district in the county, with councils dealing with 12,000 incidents per year.
The new campaign focuses on the stories of four characters – based on real people who have been caught fly-tipping in the past.
The examples show that people can be caught for all sorts of reasons, from putting a fridge on the pavement to dumping bags by a local recycling bank.
Residents can also be fined and prosecuted for using a dodgy trader who doesn’t have a waste licence and operates door-to-door.
Blake Pain, Leicestershire County Council cabinet member for environment and transport, said: “I’m pleased that all of the Leicestershire councils are working together in partnership to tackle this issue. It’s a blight on our environment and costs tax-payers’ money to sort out.
“Deterring people from fly-tipping is important and we provide a number of ways for waste to be disposed. However, if your waste is dumped inappropriately, either by you or someone you’ve given it to, you can be prosecuted and get a criminal record.”
People can visit the campaign website at www.lesswaste.org.uk/flytipping and follow the campaign on social media #IfOnly.