Council chief executive Richard Carr on the high cost of fly-tipping

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“What do you think of it so far? Rubbish!”

I’m sure some of you will remember that classic catch-phrase from the 1970s comedy double-act Morecambe and Wise, but even if you get your giggles from more contemporary comics, you’ll know the subject of actual waste is no joke.

More specifically, fly-tipping has unfortunately reached epidemic levels for communities. It’s a £50million problem, nationally.

In Central Bedfordshire, we had to deal with more than 1,200 incidents in the last 12 months, and we now tackle around ten a day. And at an average of £150 for each clear-up that costs local residents £180,000 per year.

In these times of increased financial pressures, that’s a large sum of money that we’d rather spend elsewhere.

That’s why I’m delighted that the Council has joined the #CrimeNotToCare campaign in conjunction with environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, which aims to give people information on what to do with their household waste, to avoid the problem of fly-tipping.

Often, we find that rogue traders have offered to take away residents’ rubbish for a price only to dump it, with the householder being completely unware of this, or that they are liable prosecution. That could mean a fine of up to £5,000 and a criminal record and that’s a rubbish result for any unwanted sofa or mattress, not to mention the eyesore fly-tipped waste creates, blighting our communities.

So this campaign will help explain to residents how they can protect themselves and if people come to understand that their rubbish is their responsibility then that’s a whole lot of time, effort and money that won’t go to waste clearing up dumped trash.

More information on how to tackle the problem can be found at www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/fly-tipping but it’s just one of the tools in our armoury to help make sure that rubbish doesn’t ruin our area. We are investing in upgrading all of our Household Waste Recycling Centres, or tidy tips as they’re often called, to make disposing safely of unwanted items easier than ever.

So, if you have extra recycling or rubbish that will not fit in your household bins, our centre in French’s Avenue in Dunstable is the place to take it for now and until our new tidy tip opens at Thorn Turn in the summer.