Residents may have seen talk of fly-tipping and litter in the national media this week as the Government has launched a new Litter Strategy for England.
The Government is also consulting on whether to increase the fines for littering, graffiti, fly-posting and introduce new fines for throwing litter from vehicles.
Residents wishing to have their say can do so at www.consult.defra.gov.uk/environment/litter-penalties/
Unfortunately, fly tipping is a significant problem in Bassetlaw.
It is an unsightly blight on our area that effects local wildlife, attracts vermin and costs money to clean up – money that could be better allocated to other projects, such as play parks and recreational facilities.
What is most disappointing is that the majority of fly tipping is carried out by people trying to make a quick buck or trying to save themselves money by not doing the right thing.
In the last year our environment services team have been out 33 times to pick up asbestos, 174 times to pick up construction and demolition waste, 84 times to pick up dumped tyres and 21 times to pick up vehicle parts.
Whether its unscrupulous traders trying to keep quotes down by illegally disposing of waste or trying to maximise profit by fly-tipping instead of paying for proper waste disposal, it costs the council to collect it and to correctly dispose of it.
Essentially, these people are passing the cost back on to every council tax payer in Bassetlaw. Is that fair?
It is important to be aware that disposal of your waste remains your responsibility even if you ask someone else to do it for you.
Over the last few months we have been able to trace fly-tipped waste back to a number of households, who in good faith paid a ‘man with a van’ to dispose of some items.
Sadly for them, good faith isn’t enough and we do prosecute householders when we can trace the waste back to them.
All householders have a duty of care and if you pay someone to take away your waste, you must check that they have a valid waste carriers licence from the Environment Agency.
You can do this online at www.environment.data.gov.uk/public-register/view/search-waste-carriers-brokers.
In the last month we have served a resident with an £80 removal charge after their waste was dumped by a person they found on Facebook.
The County Council operate two tips in Bassetlaw, one in Worksop and one in Retford that are both free to use.
If you are unsure as to what you can take, there is a handy A-Z on their website at www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/waste-and-recycling/recycling-and-disposing-of-waste/how-to-recycle-or-dispose-of-common-waste-items.
And finally, Bassetlaw council offers a paid for bulky waste collection service for larger items.
More and more people are now using this service, not least for the peace of mind that their rubbish will be disposed of correctly.
n David Armiger is director of regeneration and neighbourhoods at Bassetlawe Council.