So much money is spent collecting fly-tipping in Peterborough it would be just as cost-effective to collect all bulky waste for free, the city council’s deputy leader suggested.
Cllr Wayne Fitzgerald’s comments came during Monday’s Cabinet meeting when members were debating an updated report from the Fly Tipping & Waste Policy Review Team.
Cllr Fitzgerald, who is also Cabinet member for Integrated Adult Social Care and Health, said: “It really doesn’t matter how much we fine people who fly-tip or provide for those who want to get rid of their waste, there will always be some who think they can just dump the rubbish anywhere.
“It costs us £200,000 per year to remove the rubbish already, so why not set up a specialist collection team for the same money and tell the people of Peterborough there is no need to fly-tip as the council will collect their rubbish for free?”
Cllr Julie Fox (Werrington First) said during the meeting: “We have looked into various methods of dealing with fly-tipping, including CCTV, education of young people and more prosecutions of offenders.
“The problem is that fly-tipping is not seen as a ‘high importance’ crime by the public, unless it affects them directly.”
She added: “There is no respect for communities anymore and I think we have to re-educate people to see that the dumping of waste like this is socially unacceptable.”
Cllr John Holdich, leader of the council, said: “Fly-tipping is not just a Peterborough challenge, but a national one.
“When the new waste disposal centre opens it will make things better, but in the short term we have to find practical ways to stop people from dumping their rubbish anywhere they like.”
Among the suggestions put forward were easily available and sensibly priced electronic permits that can be applied for online, as well as much longer opening hours at council-run waste centres.
Richard Pearn, head of waste resources and energy for the council, said: “New fines are now available to the courts including £400 for households and individuals, and up to £50,000 for businesses convicted of fly-tipping.”
A new Household Recycling Centre opens in Fengate on Monday, February 18.
It will be more than double the size of the current facility in Dogsthorpe which is closing the day before. The council is paying FCC Environment (UK) Ltd nearly £6.2 million to build the new centre and to operate it for the next 10 years.