‘The tips are open: use them' - Fly-tipping fears prompt recycling centre plea
- Credit: Archant
The message is loud and clear – the tips are open and there’s no excuse for dumping waste.
Norfolk experiences thousands of fly-tipping incidents every year, costing residents thousands to clean up.
“Fly-tipping is a blight on society,” said Sam Chapman-Allen, leader of Breckland Council.
“Breckland has had a really concerted effort over the last few years to tackle the issue.
“It costs residents tens of thousands of pounds a year. There’s no excuse for it.
“We have got fantastic waste centres within Norfolk and 99pc of things you want to dispose of can be done for free.”
Breckland, along with other districts, has been cracking down on fly-tippers through increased enforcement and hefty £300 fines for anyone caught.
“I’m pleased that residents have engaged really positively and proactively.
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“That means we can get out there and collect the data we need to tackle the issue," he added.
Even those who don’t fly-tip themselves need to be warry – in April a woman in South Norfolk was issued a fine after handing her household waste to an unlicensed waste carrier, who later dumped it in Hedenham.
Ben Price, a Green Party county and city councillor for Thorpe Hamlet in Norwich, said more needed to be done at all levels to tackle the problem.
Mr Price suggested a ‘fly-tipping amnesty’ where residents could have the fee for large-item collection waived.
He said: “Absolutely, there’s no excuse for fly-tipping but some people have limited access to the tip and struggle to afford the [big items fee].
“I think the disposal cost of an item should be built into the cost of an item – so a manufacturer collects it to be passed on to local authorities.”
Mr Price added there would be a reduction in items going to landfill if there were better laws around the right to repair, but this required government intervention.
Labour county councillor for Thetford Terry Jermy agreed the prosecution side of combatting fly-tipping was going well in Breckland, and the next step is education.
“The new officer is averaging about one prosecution a week, that’s a huge part of stopping the issue.
“The next step is the educational side; the legal ways people can get rid of their rubbish."