Five fly-tippers have been issued new “on-the-spot” fines.

All of the people involved admitted the offence and paid the fixed penalty notices (FPNs) at the discounted rate of £300 given for early payments, where the full rate is £400.

One person was caught after dumping a bicycle, wash basket and a bag of discarded fabrics in the Ashley ward of St Albans; two offences were carried out in the Clarence ward; one in London Colney and one Marshalswick North.

Cllr Daniel Chichester-Miles, who oversees the environment for the St Albans City and District Council, said: "Fly-tipping has been a growing problem nationwide and we have been determined to clamp down on it in the St Albans District. FPNs were introduced only after a very detailed investigation and I am delighted that they have had an immediate impact and, perhaps, contributed to the reduction in the number of fly-tips.

"Flytipping is a blight on the district and a significant cost to the council for clearing up. Potential offenders will no doubt be deterred when they understand the likely consequences."

He added that the council will continue to monitor the effectiveness of FPNs and look for other ways to combat flytipping.

The new fining system was introduced in February and can be issued by council officers for small-scale flytipping.

According to a report presented to the council's cabinet on December 21, the fines have been "successful and proportionate to the level of the offence" and lessen the need for people to prepare cases for the Magistrates' Court.

In September, there were only 100 reported incidents of flytipping compared to 160 in the same month last year.