Cleaning up Cambridgeshire

Claire Wright, CLA Regional Surveyor comments on new initiatives to tackle fly tipping within Cambridgeshire.

I recently attended a meeting of the Cambridgeshire Fly-tipping Forum which aims to bring together agencies and stakeholders who have an interest in tackling waste crime to try and reinvigorate efforts to stamp out fly-tipping within the county.

Staggeringly the cost of disposing of fly-tipped waste within Cambridgeshire runs into hundreds of thousands of pounds and this is only for the actual disposal, it doesn’t include the costs of staff and vehicles to collect the waste. I’m sure we can all think of areas where this money could be put to use if it wasn’t needed to clear up grot spots.

The aim is that the forum will be able to launch the successful SCRAP campaign that was launched in Hertfordshire and resulted in a huge reduction in fly-tipping offences by funding public awareness campaigns, signage and deployment of covert cameras.

As part of the meeting I was able to raise the concerns of CLA members within the county both in terms of the cost of clearing up the incidents, the time and hassle involved in dealing with incidents and the impact that unsightly areas have on rural businesses relying on tourism income.

However, the meeting was also about sharing ideas and best practice from other areas and I was also able to lean on our experiences from elsewhere in the country to make sure that Cambridgeshire can benefit from activities organised by other counties.

Bringing together all district councils, the county council, police, Environment Agency, NFU and CLA is a really positive step for Cambridgeshire to start getting a handle on waste crime and with any luck sights like this will become a less frequent occurrence.