We are declaring war on litter louts to make Grantham ‘Clean and Green’ . . . and we need your help.
The Journal has joined forces with South Kesteven District Council to raise awareness of the dangers and costs of fly-tipping, which is on the increase.
The campaign follows last week’s front page about the piles of rubbish left in the College Street area.
SKDC’s waste and recycling team battled the elements on Friday to clear more than 3.5 tonnes of waste, a clean-up that will cost the local taxpayer almost £900.
Operations director Ian Yates said: “The council spends £1m a year on street cleaning. Not all of this goes on dealing with fly-tipping, but it has become a major problem – last year we dealt with 295 incidents and this year it is 645. We are averaging 65 cases a month and it has got to stop.”
The Journal staff, contributors and readers have all noted more rubbish in the area, some in bags, but most of it not, as well as overflowing litter bins, and it is clear this is not helping the town’s image.
In addition, people who drop litter or dispose of waste inappropriately are causing a health risk for others and creating the potential for fires to start.
The ‘Grantham Clean and Green’ campaign intends to inform people about the best ways to dispose of their waste, bring more fly-tippers to justice, encourage people to inform the council about incidents of fly-tipping and those responsible, and bring those guilty to public justice.
Mr yates said: “Individuals need to take responsibility for their behaviour. We prosecute people who fly-tip and take legal action when evidence can be obtained. If residents have information that can help us to resolve this issue then please contact us.
“We are installing CCTV cameras in key places – including the College Street area – and when we have evidence of who is responsible we will not hesitate to prosecute. People found guilty face fines of up to £50,000 and 12 months in jail.”
To deal specifically with the issue in the College Street area, the council is working with residents on how to use their black and silver bins correctly and information and guidance will be available in a number of languages.
SKDC’s portfolio holder for green and healthy, Councillor John Smith, said: “I wish to express my thanks to all those responsible for clearing the 3.5 tonnes of waste which had been deposited in the College Street area.
“It must have been a most unpleasant experience for our operatives and I’m sure that the plan we are putting in place will improve the situation.”
The Journal sees this partnership as vital to creating pride in Grantham. Editor Paul Richardson said: “We are entering into this worthwhile partnership to get action. People are, literally, dumping their rubbish on the rest of us. So it should concern all of us (except, presumably, the tiny minority who do this).
“If we accept some may act in this way out of ignorance, we should, with this campaign, educate them. For those who do it, or continue to do it, knowingly and deliberately, then the force of law must be used to stop them. SKDC says it will take legal action. And, when it does, we want to report on it.
“I urge all readers to follow the campaign, get involved and look out for the logo. Let’s make Grantham Clean and Green again... and let’s do it together.”
You need to tell SKDC what you know
If Grantham is to crack down on fly-tippers, we need to work together. “How can I help?” you might ask. It’s simple – tell South Kesteven District Council what you know. Only then can fly-tippers, who are a drain on public funds and put us all at risk, be prosecuted. * If you know someone who is guilty of dumping rubbish irresponsibly, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01476 406080. SKDC would prefer whistleblowers to be willing to make a statement, but anonymous information will also be followed up.
* If you don’t know who is responsible but want to report a fly-tip, call or e-mail the above or do it online at www.southkesteven.gov.uk/flytipping
* Meanwhile, remember to clean up after yourself. If you have bulky items to get rid of you can contact SKDC to arrange for them to be removed or take them to the Lincolnshire County Council household waste recycling centre in Mowbeck Way, Grantham. It is open 9am-4pm on Mondays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.