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Community skips could be brought in to tackle soaring city fly-tipping

PUBLISHED: 06:00 24 September 2020 | UPDATED: 12:54 24 September 2020

Community skips and fly-tipping amnesties are among measures that could be brought in to tackle soaring rates of waste dumped in Norwich, the city council agreed. Pictured, fly-tipping. Photo: Archant

Community skips and fly-tipping amnesties are among measures that could be brought in to tackle soaring rates of waste dumped in Norwich, the city council agreed. Pictured, fly-tipping. Photo: Archant

Archant

Community skips and fly-tipping amnesties are among measures that could be brought in to tackle soaring rates of waste dumped in Norwich, the city council agreed.

Green Party Norwich city councillor Martin Schmierer. Photo: Bill SmithGreen Party Norwich city councillor Martin Schmierer. Photo: Bill Smith

New schemes to tackle fly-tipping and waste collection were brought forward by Green councillors at a meeting of the full city council.

A report found fly-tipping rates around the UK had soared by 300pc during the lockdown, while more than 1,700 mattresses were dumped in Norwich in 2018-19, which the Green Party councillors said was “more than anywhere else in the UK”.

Waste disposal of bulky items in Norwich currently costs £24 for the council to collect one item, and £30 for them to collect three.

The motion brought by the Green group added that “getting them to the Mile Cross recycling centre is only possible with vehicle ownership”.

Kevin Maguire, Labour councillor and sustainable city environment portfolio holder. Pic: SubmittedKevin Maguire, Labour councillor and sustainable city environment portfolio holder. Pic: Submitted

And the council has agreed to look at innovative ways of tackling the issue.

Martin Schmierer, Green Party councillor for Mancroft ward, who proposed the motion, said: “Flytipping is more than just a nuisance, it is an unsightly blight on neighbourhoods across Norfolk and the problem seems to be getting worse. It is clear that the old approach is redundant and new methods of dealing with this problem need to be tried out.”

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And Ben Price, who seconded the motion, added: “It’s not fair to penalise people for not having cars - that’s unfair to people who can’t afford them. We don’t want to encourage car ownership in the city as we’re all well aware of the devastating effects.

“Community skips would be one good way of enabling people to throw away bulky items in a socially responsible way.”

But Kevin Maguire, Labour portfolio holder for sustainable city environment, said: “Data for the city points to a downward trend over the last four years.

“What we really want is proper review followed by adequate funding for local government.”

And Liberal Democrat councillor Judith Lubbock added: “Covid-19 has dealt us a very difficult time - during lockdown councils could not fulfil all their obligations.

“The cost of £30 for three items picked up kerbside is reasonable.”

Councillors voted to investigate introducing community skips and holding fly-tipping “amnesties” as well as evaluating the current kerbside collection system, and to work with the Norwich Car Club to ensure vehicles are available to residents who need them.

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