Tackling Corby's fly-tipping problem
'People just cannot get away with it.'
That’s the message from Corby Council after statistics revealed the borough had the highest number of fly-tipping incidents in the north of Northamptonshire in 2017-18.
In total there were 1,614 recorded incidents - far higher than Kettering (1,035), Wellingborough (679) and East Northants (537).
Corby Council’s environment portfolio holder Cllr Mark Pengelly said county residents don’t have licence to dump waste anywhere they feel like.
He said: “We have to accept there is a problem but it’s something we’re trying to tackle.
“There are issues with Northamptonshire County Council sites only being open a few days a week.
“But that does not give anyone an excuse to dump rubbish wherever they want.”
The Labour councillor, who represents Lloyds ward, said there are some disparities in the figures with each council having a different take on what constitutes fly-tipping.
Figures show the most common dumping ground for fly-tipping in Corby was on council land, with almost half (768) of incidents recorded there.
The most common category of waste dumped was white goods (161) followed by household black bags (147) and tyres (28).
Other items fly-tipped included construction waste, oil drums and asbestos.
Corby Council aims to clear a fly-tip within 24 hours of it being reported and Cllr Pengelly said they are trying to get a message about waste across to residents.
He said: “It’s all about education.
“We are doing a lot of work to try and educate people about where they can take their rubbish and how to dispose of it properly.”
Not all fly-tips occur when people dump their own waste, with many unsuspecting people playing a part of the problem when they pay an unlicensed waste carrier to dispose of their rubbish.
The council recently launched a campaign code called S.C.R.A.P to help people ensure their waste is being disposed of properly - (S)uspect all waste carriers, (C)heck their details, (R)efuse unsolicited offers, (A)sk where your rubbish is going and obtain (P)aperwork.
But for those who fail to do follow the advice, punishments and fines can be heavy.
The year 2017-18 saw 802 investigations, eight Fixed Penalty Notices and three prosecutions, but there have already been more successes this year.
George McKimmie was ordered to pay £700 after waste dumped in nearby Middleton was traced back to him and a firm trading as Corby Private Medical Centre ordered to pay more than £1,000 after an investigation into items dumped from a dental practice.
Cllr Pengelly said: “One of the things we have been doing is delving through rubbish to find who it belongs to.
“We have had some successful prosecutions of late on the back of that.
“People just cannot get away with it.”
Corby Council currently has a contract with Kier to clear fly-tips, although a new shared waste and recycling service with Kettering Council will begin in February 2019.
Last year the council said fly-tipping cost taxpayers £84,000.
Cllr Pengelly urged people to show some pride in their town.
He said: “Corby is known for its beautiful green areas and we work hard as a council to keep it to this standard.
“We’re looking for a cleaner Corby.
“Have some pride in your town, don’t dump your rubbish and use the proper services.”