Picture gallery: Appeal is made to stop fly-tipping shame in Norwich
Take more care of this fine city – that is the message the Norwich Evening News is sending out today.
A worrying spate of fly-tipping around the city has been highlighted by our readers, leading to calls for people to take responsibility for their own waste.
Using our new media platform, www.iwitness24.co.uk, Norwich Evening News readers have been sending in examples of fly-tipping which have left them outraged.
And today we urge people to keep sending us details of waste being dumped, which we will forward to the relevant authorities to act upon.
Abandoned waste in areas of Mousehold Heath, Old Catton and Mile Cross have all caused disgust, as well as costing taxpayers' money, as it is the responsibility of local councils to clear the waste away.
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The crime carries a punishment of a fine of up to �50,000 and five years in jail, but some are still not being deterred.
Fly-tipping costs Norwich City Council about �200,000 a year and the council's leader, Brenda Arthur, pictured below right, has backed our appeal for communities to be on the watch for people blighting the city's appearance.
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She said: 'There is no excuse for fly tipping as there are numerous ways to get rid of waste responsibly, which any local council can advise on.
'We deal with about 400 fly-tipping incidents a month, which costs the city council a staggering �200,000 each year to clear up and investigate.
'This is money that could be spent on valuable projects that benefit entire communities, but instead it is being spent on clearing up after a minority of people who break the law.'
The city council is a member of the Norfolk Waste Enforcement Group (NWEG), which strives to investigate cases, as well as carry out education and enforcement campaigns to tackle fly-tipping.
Mrs Arthur added: 'We would encourage people to take pride in their area and to report anyone they see fly-tipping, or suspect of fly-tipping.
'It is really important for people to let us know as many details as possible so that we can follow up the report and prosecute where necessary.'
Broadland District Council – which is responsible for the northern suburbs of Norwich and the rural areas to the north and east of the city, from Acle right round to Taverham – had to fork out �36,304 of taxpayers' money because of fly-tipping in 2010/11.
However, fly-tipping in Broadland has actually decreased since a high of 906 cases in 2009/10.
It dropped by 15pc in 2010/11 and the district council has seen a month-on-month fall of 23pc in 2011/12 so far.
John Fisher, pictured right, portfolio holder for environmental excellence, said: 'Broadland won the overall Clean Britain award for being the cleanest place in Britain last year.
'Keeping it that way is a joint effort with parishes, community groups and residents all doing their bit.
'A lot of people put in a lot of work and we have a zero tolerance approach to fly tipping. We will always prosecute.
'By keeping Broadland tidy residents take a pride in the area. Rubbish accumulates more rubbish.'
Broadland also runs a low cost commercial service for landowners in the district and has been working to improve areas which had been problem spots.
This offers a cleansing service, provides anti-fly-tipping signage and suggests ways to 'design out' problems through fencing or other alternatives.
A Norfolk Constabulary spokesman added: 'Fly-tipping is an offence, poses a risk to people and the environment and can lead to arson.
'Members of the public should contact their local council or Environmental Health if they have any concerns about the issue in their area or to request the removal of rubbish or bulky waste.'
Have you spotted fly-tipping in your area? Send us your photos at www.iwitness24.co.uk