Green Party co-leader Jonathan Bartley visited Orton last November to call for a fly tipping ‘amnesty’ to help residents dispose of unwanted bulky items without fear of fees or fines.
Peterborough Green Party supports all efforts to end the blight of fly tipping, so we warmly welcome the city council’s recent announcement that it will trial free bulky waste collections across our city.
Free collections and local drop off points for bulky items never succeed in stamping out fly tipping completely but are appreciated by residents who don’t drive or are too busy and would otherwise struggle to get their larger items to the recycling centre.
For some residents, however, particularly those who are older or disabled, it doesn’t matter if the drop off point is the recycling centre or a lorry at the end of the road: if you don’t have the physical ability to lift the item you need to get rid of, and don’t know who to ask for help, there is a chance your friendly local rogue tradesman may give you a hand for £20 and dump your items in the street or closest farmer’s field.
This is a critical problem that our council must now address. If you are elderly, live alone and your partner has recently died, how do you dispose of the reclining arm chair he used to sit in? You may know the answer to this question (call 01733 747474), but many older people who live by themselves do not and need that information so they won’t fall prey to fly tippers.
Our council may have become accustomed to dealing with residents at arms-length, and no longer understands how to deliver the services we need to keep Peterborough tidy.
At the heart of the matter is communication, and lots of it, through channels that local residents actually use, concisely and clearly and often and over a sustained period. We hope the council has budgeted for communication because we desperately want this trial to succeed.
It seems there may be a communications crisis inside our council too.
We were recently contacted by a resident who has paid for brown bin collection yet the bin is never emptied. Some residents were still waiting for their Christmas tree to be collected from the kerb- side in March! And time and again we hear from residents who have reported fly tipping to the council but weeks later it still hasn’t been cleared up.
Sometimes this is because the rubbish is on private or housing association land for which the council isn’t responsible, but this is of no comfort to residents.
We know that fly tip attracts more fly tip. We need our council to put in place robust policies so that rubbish is removed quickly, wherever it’s dumped.
We hope that this council trial is a big success. However, it will only succeed when residents are helped to understand how it works and council staff are primed to help. After all, communication is a two way street.
Pictured: Julie Howell with Jonathan Bartley.