Fly tipping on the increase...except in Boston
Our green and pleasant land looks anything but that in some places. Nationally, fly tipping has risen by more than 26 per cent since 2012. But in the borough it has fallen by almost 33 per cent.
The innovative fly tipping clear-up campaign, known as Operation Fly Swat, launched four years, ago has seen quantities of dumped rubbish tumble.
In Boston borough and South Holland in 2013/14 there were 1,487 separate fly tip incidents and almost 179 tonnes of rubbish was collected.
That fell to 1,192 tips and just short of 140 tonnes in 2014/15 and was down to 1,059 tips and 89 tonnes in 2015/16.
And the unique project, which operates in conjunction with HM Prison North Sea Camp and has now extended to cover parts of South Holland, has saved the public purse £240,000 over the past four years
So far £300,000 worth of fly-tip clearance has been achieved at a cost of £60,000.
Cllr Michael Brookes, Boston Borough Council's portfolio holder for waste services, said: "The impact of Operation Fly Swat has been amazing. The figures for our area show that the less rubbish there is left lying about the less likely people are to add to it. We have an enviable record since the launch of Operation Fly Swat for responding quickly to reports of fly tipping and dealing with sites where people have dumped rubbish. It has always been our belief that rubbish attracts rubbish.
"In an ideal world we'd rather rubbish wasn't just dumped on verges and in ditches, but when it happens the best we can do is respond quickly and effectively when it is reported, and that strategy is paying dividends."
Operation Fly Swat is a joint partnership approach to dealing with fly-tipped rubbish involving local authorities, drainage boards, the Environment Agency, housing associations... and the prison.
Boston Borough Council oversees the scheme, which extends into a neighbouring council's area, and the costs are kept down by using free manpower from HM Prison North Sea Camp.
Partners, who contribute to the cost of provision of a vehicle and equipment and administration are: Boston Borough Council (lead authority responsible for operational and administrative supervision, collection depot, health and safety checks and training), South Holland District Council, Lincolnshire County Council, Environment Agency, Black Sluice, Witham Fourth, Welland and Deepings and South Holland Internal Drainage Boards, Longhurst and Havelok and Mayflower Housing Associations. North Sea Camp provides free manpower.
The clean-it-thoroughly strategy is also working in Boston where the annual Big Boston Clean-up is concerned. Over the years the volume of rubbish collected from the streets has reduced, despite the clean-up being over the same period and with a static number of volunteers.
This year 4.2 tonnes were collected compared with 4.6 tonnes last year, which itself was a reduction from 5.9 tonnes in 2014.
Cllr Brookes said: "This shows that our streets are becoming cleaner, although there are still pockets which require attention. Clean streets help make some people think again before dropping litter. If you have an area which looks neglected people are less likely to treat it with any respect. The council can afford only a small team of street cleaners and they do a sterling job in cleaning up litter, but it is a never-ending task. We will continue to do our best to improve.
"Bottom line is there is never any excuse for littering or fly tipping. We have plenty of litter bins in all areas, and if one is not close to hand when you need it take your rubbish home with you. Much of the fly-tipped rubbish we collect could have been either left for collection in the green or blue bins the council supplies or taken for free to the tip at Slippery Gowt. You may also avoid a fine or even an appearance in court."
Last month Boston Borough Council prosecuted a fly tipper at Boston Magistrates' Court after he dumped a car engine at Sutterton. As well as two trips to court the offence cost him £515.
To help reduce litter and fly-tipping the council will take away additional waste left bagged at the side of your green and blue bins if your bins are full when presented for collection. Additional bags for recycling are available, free of charge, from the council. The council can also arrange collection from your property and correct disposal of bulky items such as sofas, TVs, washing machines, fridges, etc. There is a small charge for this personal service. Go to www.boston.gov.uk/bulky
If you agree for someone else to take your rubbish away for you please ensure they have the correct waste carrier's licence. Not anyone with a van can offer this service. And if they take your waste away and dispose of it unlawfully you remain responsible for it and could well face a financial penalty. There have been instances recently of households being leafleted about gardening and rubbish removal services. Please be sure the person you engage is properly licensed. You can check whether the person you are engaging has the necessary waste carrier's licence at http://bit.ly/1YlHCOD