As regular readers will be aware, fly-tipping is a big bugbear of mine, writes Rob Hill, assistant director for Community Safety at Peterborough City Council.
Now we have entered the summer months (although you wouldn’t have guessed it from the recent weather!) it is the time of year when we sometimes see an increase in fly-tipping incidents, as people become more inclined to get outside and dump rubbish.
The council is continuing to look at new ways that the problem can be tackled because we know it is an issue that residents are particularly concerned about.
Earlier this year we opened our new household recycling centre in Fengate and if you haven’t visited already, then believe me, it’s a huge improvement on the previous facility at Dogsthorpe.
And it’s not just me who thinks this, it appears you as residents do too, as so far 120 tonnes of extra rubbish have been recycled there since it opened.
You’ll also be pleased to hear that traffic is flowing smoothly and there have been no problems with queues - unlike what used to regularly happen at Dogsthorpe.
The target recycling rate for the site is 70 per cent during its first few years. During April the recycling rate at the site was 75 per cent, having risen 10 per cent since opening in February.
We’re confident that the new household recycling centre will reduce fly-tipping in the long- term, but one message we always like to remind people about is to remember your duty of care when it comes to disposing of waste.
Environmental protection law requires all householders to make sure their waste is only removed from their premises by registered waste carriers.
Unlicensed businesses may be tempted to dump waste they collect in order to avoid charges for proper disposal.
A real danger here is that if you hire an unlicensed carrier and any dumped waste gets traced back to you, then you can face being prosecuted.
So whenever you are considering arranging for anyone other than Peterborough City Council to collect any waste from your home, always carry out the following checks:
Ask to see their waste carriers licence - you can check to see if they are registered waste carriers by searching the Environment Agency’s public register of waste carriers online or by phoning them on 03708 506 506.
Record the registration number of any vehicle used to transport your waste.
Always ask for a proper invoice or receipt.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions - always ask exactly what is going to happen to your waste and seek evidence that it is going to be disposed of correctly.
If you suspect that someone collecting waste is suspicious then you can report this to us by calling the council on 01733 747474.
Helping young people to learn about road safety is a key priority for the council and something we will be actively working on this month.
Over the coming days, more than 1,000 10 and 11-year-olds from schools across the city will take part in special activities designed to improve their fire and road safety skills. As part of the ‘Safety Challenge’ events, children will learn how to react to a fire, the consequences of being distracted near a road and how to stay safe online.
The initiative has being delivered by the council’s road safety team, in partnership with Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service and Cambridgeshire Constabulary. The team will make sure that the Safety Challenge is a memorable and fun experience for all who take part, as it has been in previous years.
But obviously on a serious note there are some important life lessons and key messages to take away from the different activities.
So I’m sure everyone taking part will have an enjoyable and beneficial time.