The CLA wholeheartedly welcomes Kent County Council’s announcement that it is to spend an extra £250,000 fighting fly-tipping, as we have long-called for additional resources to help battle waste crime.
It has also announced a new recycling centre will be opened to serve Tonbridge and Malling, while it has negotiated with Medway Council to allow Kent residents to continue using Medway sites.
Here, CLA South East Regional Director Robin Edwards responds to the announcement...
While this is positive news, fly-tipping and waste crime are serious problems in the county and it comes at a time when KCC is introducing new charges for disposing of items such as soil, rubble and plasterboard at its recycling centres. While the authority has rejected widespread concerns that these fees could lead to a rise in the amount of waste dumped in Kent, it is interesting that it has now pledged this extra money to fight fly-tipping days before the charges come in.
Kent is the Garden of England yet there are nearly 20,000 incidents of fly-tipping a year. It causes enormous harm to the environment as well as costing a fortune to clean up, especially if hazardous materials are involved. Landowners are liable for any waste dumped on their land and are fed up of having to clear up other people’s mess, and paying for the privilege.
Recent data from the Local Government Association revealed that nobody has been handed the maximum penalties for fly-tipping since they were introduced five years ago.
Fly-tipping incidents in England have risen by nearly 40% in that time, to almost one million in 2017/18, though the true figures are likely to be significantly higher as predominantly the statistics do not include incidents on private land
CLA South East, which represents landowners, farmers and rural businesses across Kent, is now calling on councils and courts to take robust action to deter potential fly-tippers.
We appreciate that councils have budgetary pressures, but failing to tackle the menace of fly-tipping could ultimately make their financial situations worse if it means they end up facing increased clean-ups costs dealing with more dumped rubbish.
The message needs to be sent loud and clear that dumping waste will not be tolerated, and those who do it will be prosecuted.
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CLA South East