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My goodness - last week's leader has touched a nerve; my phone's been ringing off the hook and I've had emails from many of you who are as incensed as I am over the issue of fly tipping. I posted my leader in the 'What's on in Epsom' group Facebook page and as well as the posts on there, local people have messaged me voicing their frustrations at the recycling system and how things are being made progressively more difficult for us - which in turn is leading normally law-abiding citizens to not only employ cowboy waste removal firms who dump our rubbish over the countryside, but also to illegally dump things ourselves and sometimes send rubbish to landfill when it can (or could) so easily be recycled.
The consensus is that local authorities, in trying to cut costs by shortening the hours our civic amenity tips are open and indeed closing them for one or more days of the week, are actually spending hundreds of thousands of pounds more than they've saved, in employing people to clean up the rubbish that's been illegally dumped. The whole system needs a rethink. I've just read that within my borough, the cost of removing fly-tipped waste is estimated to be over £1million this year alone!
Also, people feel that not enough is being done to publicise the fact that it's the responsibility of the owner of the rubbish to check that the contractor they're paying to take their rubbish away, is licensed to do so. However, it's also been asked, how we as laypeople are supposed to know that what appears to be a proper licence is actually genuine? We could inadvertently - if illegally dumped rubbish is traced back to us - end up being shamed in the local press and end up paying a heavy fine for a genuine mistake, couldn't we? It's not really fair, is it?
Doug Cooke, chairman of the Cleaning & Support Services Association, posted that his local tip was closed some years ago "with dire consequences". The nearest facility is eight - 10 miles away. A few days later, Doug expressed his frustration that a lorry-sized pile of stinking rubbish and rubble had been dumped down a country lane one mile from his house.
There are some great comments and ideas regarding these issues under last week's Leader on our Facebook page. I'd be delighted if you'd join in the discussion...
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8th November 2018