A brand new strategy to reduce the huge amount of fly-tipping in Peterborough has been launched.
The #LovePeterborough campaign will see a series of events taking place within the worst affected communities in a bid to prevent fly-tipping.
Currently, around 800 fly-tips are reported in the city every month, costing the authorities more than £200,000.
The announcement of a new campaign comes a week after Peterborough City Council announced it was bringing back free bulky waste collections for a three month trial.
Cllr Irene Walsh, council cabinet member for communities, said: “Peterborough is no different to every area of the country when it comes to fly-tipping, but that does not mean that we should accept it.
“It is a blot on many areas of the city and we have to do something about it, with support from residents and businesses.
“It is essential we have public support to encourage change.
“Everyone wants to live in a nice neighbourhood so we want to try and build pride and a community spirit that means people will work with us to stop fly-tipping. We have a very clear message. Fly-tipping is not acceptable in Peterborough - it is illegal and there is no excuse for it.
“We hope with the help from the public - who know how to report these incidents to us - we can encourage all our residents to #LovePeterborough.”
The first series of events being held will allow residents to dispose of their unwanted household items for free in community freighters.
The skips will be placed at six carefully selected locations using data from street cleaning service Amey and the Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service.
Further information will be announced in due course with information sent to residents nearby to advertise the events.
In June this year the fire service was called to almost 40 deliberate fires involving fly-tipped waste in Peterborough, spending 720 hours in total tackling the fires.
The SaferPeterborough Prevention and Enforcement Service (PES) - a joint operation which brings together the council, police and fire service - has been prosecuting fly-tippers since it was set up in April 2016.
Deputy head of service for the PES Wayne Swales, who is also a station commander for Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service, said the aim of the campaign was to prevent fly-tipping from occurring rather than just clamping down on offenders.
He said: “Fly-tipping is very hard to stop. Generally we do not stop people dropping it and dumping it. We are the last part of that chain.
“Whilst with the PES we are able to prosecute which we have done before, we have tried to move our focus to the front of the chain - how can we prevent it happening and better connect to the public so they know what to do.
“What we want to achieve through this campaign is to get better messaging out there. We want to be able to say to the public ‘have confidence to report it’.
“If you see your neighbour fly-tipping, tell us. If you see someone in the street fly-tipping, tell us.”
The campaign will attempt to inform people that they can report fly-tipping by calling 01733 747474 or by contacting @Ask_PCC on Twitter.
More information can be found on our website: www.peterborough.gov.uk/lovepboro.