Recycling centre closures heighten fly-tipping fears
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