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Fears lockdown fly-tipping going under-reported as ‘some areas’ record rise

PUBLISHED: 07:39 21 April 2020 | UPDATED: 07:39 21 April 2020

Warnings that fly tipping is being under-reported during the Covid-19 outbreak have echoed calls to reopen Norfolk’s waste centres. Pictured: Leona Bursnell, left, and Dave Thomas, right. Photos: Leona Bursnell/Liberal Democrats

Warnings that fly tipping is being under-reported during the Covid-19 outbreak have echoed calls to reopen Norfolk’s waste centres. Pictured: Leona Bursnell, left, and Dave Thomas, right. Photos: Leona Bursnell/Liberal Democrats

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Warnings that fly tipping is being under-reported during the Covid-19 outbreak have led to new calls to reopen Norfolk’s waste centres.

Waste left in a stream on Mill Lane in Felthorpe has angered residents. Photo: Leona BursnellWaste left in a stream on Mill Lane in Felthorpe has angered residents. Photo: Leona Bursnell

Reports of a lorry load of waste being left in Thetford’s woodlands sparked outrage this weekend, and prompted calls for the council to reopen the refuse centres.

But the council said the rubbish left could not have gone to a tip.

And now another incident in Felthorpe, north Norfolk, has seen a councillor warn that the scale of the problems risks being under-reported during the lockdown.

Building waste was discovered in a ditch on Mill Lane by a group of residents, blocking the stream and leaking foam into the water.

Waste left in a stream on Mill Lane in Felthorpe has angered residents. Pictured, Leona Bursnell. Photo: Leona BursnellWaste left in a stream on Mill Lane in Felthorpe has angered residents. Pictured, Leona Bursnell. Photo: Leona Bursnell

Leona Bursnell, 25, one of those who found the waste, said: “Lots of it has started to foam and it must be polluting the water.”

READ MORE: Council warns there’s ‘no excuse for fly-tipping’ during pandemic

She said the council had been informed but neither they nor the Broads Authority could remove it from the privately-owned land.

Dave Thomas, local councillor for Horsford and Felthorpe, said: “I imagine there’s probably more fly tipping than being reported.

Waste left in a stream on Mill Lane in Felthorpe has angered residents. Photo: Leona BursnellWaste left in a stream on Mill Lane in Felthorpe has angered residents. Photo: Leona Bursnell

“There’s more happening out there, in my view.”

The Liberal Democrat councillor added: “Horsford and Felthorpe are always top of the list. It’s usually the same places.

“Broadland Council must spend tens of thousands a year cleaning up what people have thrown away.

“You’re still footing the bill.”

Dave Thomas, Liberal Democrat prospective parliamentary candidate for Norwich North. Pic: Liberal Democrats.Dave Thomas, Liberal Democrat prospective parliamentary candidate for Norwich North. Pic: Liberal Democrats.

And he said: “Tips being shut due to Covid-19 doesn’t help.”

But Miss Bursnell said she did not agree tips should be reopened.

READ MORE: Fly-tipper dumps lorry load of waste at beauty spot

“It’s a hard one but I don’t think the tips need to be kept open,” she said. “All people are being asked to do is stay at home.”

It comes as five of Norfolk’s seven district council’s reveal a significant drop in the reporting of fly-tipping, with figures for:

• Broadland dropping by 27pc,

• North Norfolk lower by 33pc,

• South Norfolk falling by 45pc,

• Breckland reducing by half,

• And West Norfolk dropping by between 14-22pc since January.

Norwich City Council and Great Yarmouth Council, both of which did not respond with their data, both saw an increase, according to Norfolk County Council.

A council spokesman said tips were closed due to the lockdown restrictions and to ensure public and staff safety, but the decision was under “constant review”.

He said: “An increase is being seen in some areas. It is something we are looking at closely and we encourage everybody to continue to report illegal dumping when they see it.”

• To report an issue with fly-tipping, please visit the council’s website.

What does the council advise?

A county council spokesman said: “In the meantime whilst the recycling centres are closed we advise:

“If you were planning to visit a recycling centre please hold on to the items you want to take until they reopen.

“Use your kerbside service provided by your local council and follow their advice as it may change, for example when to put bins out or what services they are providing, so check their website.

“In your kerbside general rubbish collection please do not place items such as DIY waste, electrical items, garden waste or recycling, as this would take up space in the collection vehicles needed for general household rubbish.

“Much of the waste that goes through recycling centres is garden waste, where possible you should compost grass cuttings and hedge trimmings and if you can’t do that keep garden waste until the sites reopen.

“If you use alternative arrangements to deal with your waste make sure that you are making the right choices and be sure to follow government advice around staying at home and keeping safe distances between people.”

READ MORE: Fly-tipper dumps lorry load of waste at beauty spot


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