Re­cy­cling cen­tre clo­sures heighten fly-tip­ping fears

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS - by JAS­MINE RAPSON jas­mine.rapson@reach­plc.com Lo­cal Democ­racy Re­porter

THE po­ten­tial clo­sure of re­cy­cling cen­tres in Bucks has sparked fears more peo­ple will re­sort to il­le­gally dump­ing piles of waste across the county.

How­ever, Bucks County Coun­cil (BCC) has hit back, in­sist­ing there is no ev­i­dence to sug­gest changes in house­hold re­cy­cling ser­vices could re­sult in more fly-tip­ping in­ci­dents.

Last week it was an­nounced at least one re­cy­cling cen­tre in the county could be forced to close as BCC looks to cut spend­ing on the run­ning of the ser­vice by £1.2 mil­lion.

CLA South East, which rep­re­sents landown­ers, farm­ers and ru­ral busi­nesses, has now raised con­cerns that pro­pos­als to close and cut hours at rub­bish tips could re­sult in more fly-tip­ping.

This comes af­ter it was re­vealed last month that il­le­gal rub­bish dump­ing is on the rise across the county, with 27 fly-tip­ping cases re­ported in just one week.

Re­gional di­rec­tor at CLA South East Robin Ed­wards said: “Much good work is be­ing done in the county to help try and bring of­fend­ers to jus­tice.

“More than 650 fly-tip­pers have been pros­e­cuted in Buck­ing­hamshire over the past 15 years and the coun­cil prides it­self on hav­ing one of the high­est pros­e­cu­tion suc­cess rates in Eng­land.

“But more than 11,000 fly-tip­ping cases – six a day on av­er­age – have blighted the coun­try­side in the past five years alone, cost­ing tax-pay­ers £500,000 a year in clear-up costs, and it would be a huge shame if these num­bers were to grow even big­ger as a re­sult of cuts to re­cy­cling cen­tre ser­vices.

“Clos­ing or par­tially clos­ing re­cy­cling cen­tres will not help.

“Each in­ci­dent of flytip­ping on pri­vate land costs the owner on av­er­age £844 to clean up, but why should in­no­cent landown­ers bear the bur­den of this dis­grace­ful crime?”

How­ever, Bill Chap­ple, cabi­net mem­ber for plan­ning and en­vi­ron­ment at BCC, said changes to re­cy­cling ser­vices will not turn “law abid­ing res­i­dents” into fly-tip­pers.

He added coun­cils across the county take a “zero tol­er­ance” ap­proach to fly-tip­ping, with of­fend­ers 16 times more likely to be caught in Bucks than any­where else in the coun­try.

Cllr Chap­ple said: “Al­though some pre­sume there is a con­nec­tion be­tween changes in house­hold re­cy­cling cen­tre ser­vices and fly-tip­ping, sta­tis­ti­cal ev­i­dence from around the coun­try just does not sup­port this.

“Whilst house­hold re­cy­cling cen­tres are an es­sen­tial ser­vice, change in pro­vi­sion does not make the vast ma­jor­ity of law- abid­ing res­i­dents into fly­tip­pers – peo­ple sim­ply ar­range their visit ac­cord­ingly.

“While we are con­fi­dent fly-tip­ping will not in­crease, we are not com­pla­cent.

“Any changes that are made as a re­sult of the con­sul­ta­tion will be im­ple­mented care­fully, with flytip­ping pre­ven­tion con­tin­u­ing to be a top pri­or­ity.”

For more in­for­ma­tion on the con­sul­ta­tion on the ser­vice changes, visit democ­racy.buckscc.gov.uk/mgCon­sul­ta­tionDis­play.aspx?ID=7402.

Bucks County Coun­cil say mem­bers of the pub­lic will not be­come fly­tip­pers overnight

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