Coronavirus: 'Disgusting' flytipping soars during lockdown

Coronavirus: 'Disgusting' flytipping soars during lockdown

4/22/2020 6:47:00 AM

Coronavirus: 'Disgusting' flytipping soars during lockdown

Businessman Martin Montague says his ClearWaste app is being bombarded daily with hundreds of photographs from across the UK.

Image:Anyone caught flytipping risks prosecution and up to five years in jail Pic: ClearWasteImage:Rubbish dumped illegally on private land is the responsibility of landownersPic: ClearWasteHis app allows those who find flytip sites to take and upload photographs which his staff pass on to the relevant council.

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Household bin collections have continued through the lockdown, though more than a quarter of councils have stopped collecting garden waste.Mr Montague showed me two recent flytips close to his home, one a heap of mostly tree branches and old fencing blocking a narrow country lane and the other a bigger dump of concrete, metal and tyres left on the edge of a wheat field.

Coronavirus: UK vaccine to be trialled on people from ThursdayThe second pile included what looked like sheets of corrugated asbestos, perhaps from an old garage roof, potentially hazardous and in need of specialist and expensive removal by experts.The government wants waste recycling centres to stay open, but most have closed because of the difficulties in ensuring social distancing rules.

Local authorities say they are discussing with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) any opportunity to reopen them.Cllr David Renard, environment spokesman for the Local Government Association, said:"With government the LGA is looking at exploring ways in which, on a limited basis, recycling centres can be reopened, but until such times as announcements are made we must insist that people keep their waste on household premises."

Image:Reports of flytipping on the ClearWaste app are up 75% Pic: ClearWasteRubbish dumped illegally on private land is the responsibility of landowners who must bear the cost of removing it.Sarah Lee, head of policy at the Countryside Alliance, said:"Flytipping is particularly increasing for landowners and farmers, where people are coming out and putting it on their fields.

"They have a double jeopardy where they have a legal responsibility to dispose of the waste and the cost to them can be huge.Coronavirus: What COVID-19 tests are available? Can I get one?"They don't want to spend their time doing that when they are too busy trying to feed the nation to bother to clear up flytipping."

Anyone caught flytipping risks prosecution and up to five years in jail or a maximum fine of £50,000.A Defra spokesperson said:"Flytipping blights communities, spoils our countryside, and poses a risk to human health and the environment. Read more: Sky News »

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