My word! Coun­cil to think again over hard-hit­ting waste warn­ing

Gloucestershire Echo - - NEWS - Robin JENK­INS

robin.jenk­[email protected]­

WHEN no­tices went up in Chel­tenham last month warn­ing peo­ple they could be fined £50,000 and jailed for wrongly leav­ing rub­bish at re­cy­cling cen­tres, it seemed like us­ing a sledge­ham­mer to crack a nut.

The bor­ough coun­cil was crit­i­cised by some members of the pub­lic for potentiall­y putting peo­ple off tak­ing ma­te­rial to be re­cy­cled at its banks around the town.

Bosses came un­der fire for the ‘po­lite no­tice’ that was put up at the coun­cil’s eight re­cy­cling sites. It warned that any- one leav­ing their rub­bish in­cor­rectly could be fined up to £50,000.

The no­tice said: “Please en­sure that all re­cy­clable items are fully put into the ap­pro­pri­ate skip.

“Any waste items left around the skips will be treated as fly-tip­ping. If the skip is full, please take your waste to an­other bring site or back to your home ad­dress.

“The max­i­mum penalty can be a fine up to £50,000 and/or six months’ im­pris­on­ment.”

The no­tice also warned that the ar­eas were be­ing mon­i­tored by CCTV.

It led to a string of com­plaints from peo­ple say­ing the coun­cil was clamp­ing down on those who were sim­ply re­spond­ing to its ap­peal to re­cy­cle more of their waste, and there was a danger that this might stop some res­i­dents from do­ing so.

And now, it seems, coun­cil of­fi­cials agree they might have made a mis­take.

A coun­cil spokes­woman said: “Un­for­tu­nately we have on­go­ing is­sues with rub­bish be­ing dumped or fly-tipped around our re­cy­cling bank sites.

“No­tices were put up four weeks ago at the eight bring bank sites in Chel­tenham. The no­tices have been taken down to re­view the word­ing as we do not want to dis­cour­age re­cy­cling, but we need to send a mes­sage to those that are dump­ing non-re­cy­clable waste by the bring banks as this is fly-tip­ping.

“This is part of wider coun­cil ac­tion to try to pre­vent fly-tip­ping, which is dam­ag­ing the amenity of the town.

“There are var­i­ous hotspots for this ac­tiv­ity around town, in­clud­ing the bring sites. The coun­cil in­ves­ti­gates all cases of re­ported fly-tip­ping and where suf­fi­cient ev­i­dence is ob­tained, will pur­sue le­gal ac­tion against the per­pe­tra­tors.”

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The bor­ough coun­cil faces a bal­anc­ing act be­tween de­ter­ring fly-tip­pers while en­cour­ag­ing re­cy­cling

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