If Peterborough City Council were singing Sinatra on the karaoke it may have gone a little like this; “Mistakes, I’ve made a few, but then again, too few to mention.”
Unfortunately, in my ten years back in the city, as a broadcaster on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire, I have counted more than a few.
I don’t mind the odd mistake though, if people learn from them and don’t make the same ones twice - when it comes to bulky waste collections, the council appear to be doing just that.
When the charge was introduced some seven years ago I did argue at the time, quite vociferously on the radio, that it would lead to more fly- tipping and a dirtier city.
I don’t think that anybody in their right mind could argue that my vision of the future has not sadly come to pass, with areas all over the city covered in discarded garbage.
The trial of free collections will begin in the autumn and will leave those that would dump their rubbish on our streets with no excuse (not that there was much of one before) for their actions.
What possesses anyone in the first place, to leave their old sofas by the side of the road or throw their dirty mattress over somebody else’s hedge?
It’s beyond my comprehension why anybody would want to turn the place where they and their children live, into a stinking, rotting, cesspit.
Currently the council has to deal with 800 incidents of fly-tipping a month, and if you are reading this and you are one of the perpetrators, well shame on you – I hope somebody tips a load of rubble on your front lawn and that a pack of rabid dogs do their business in your porch.
This is only a three-month trial but when a similar thing was tried in Nottingham it was credited with cutting fly-tipping almost in half.
Personally, I would go one step further and alongside the carrot of free collections, I would introduce a very big stick, for those that ignore this offer and carry on poisoning our city.
Anyone caught dumping their rubbish whilst this trial is on should have their car or van confiscated and a huge fine imposed.
We, as a society must stand up and say we will not accept this behaviour anymore in our communities and root out those that just do not care what state they leave the city in.
If that doesn’t work, perhaps we should order some orange jumpsuits with the word ‘dumper’ on the back, in big letters; wandering around the city wearing those, clearing up their mess, would surely get the message across that they must clean up their act.
The council are playing their part and now we must play ours – if you, like me, want a clean, green city that is fit for our children’s futures, then it is time for action.
Some people may enjoy living in a tip but I do not, and I would encourage anyone who suspects somebody of dumping to collect evidence, tell the relevant authorities and help stamp this scourge out once and for all.
It is no use bemoaning the state of the city if you are not prepared to do anything about it.