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Fly Tipping
Some of my readers will remember the old campfire chorus which went “you can’t put your muck in our dustbin, our dustbin, our dustbin. you can’t put your muck in our dustbin, our dustbin’s full.” This came to mind when I was on my way to Newport the other day. I stopped on the top of Mersley Down to look at the three crosses mounted there in the field opposite the layby. Looking the other way I discovered that three huge bags of what appeared to be rubble and broken concrete had been dumped in the ditch next to the layby. The words might become “you won’t your muck in our dustbin ‘cos you can’t or won’t pay.” It doesn’t quite scan but I think you see what I mean.

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It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that placing rigorous controls on what goes to the tip, dividing the domestic from commercial waste, will lead to more instances of fly tipping. There are enormous financial pressures on all forms of business nowadays. The temptation to dodge the charges levied at the tip is bound to get the better of some people. I don’t know what the answer is. I would be interested to know how similar problems are being dealt with elsewhere in the country. Enforcement is obviously one answer but perhaps some thinking out of the box would help.

It has never been entirely clear to me why businesses which generate waste cannot be charged for its disposal as a component of their business rates. Much in the same way as the current council tax. (Don’t get me started on that!) There would remain the difficulty of those businesses which do not rely upon chargeable premises to carry out their work but rather move from site to site.

Enforcement of laws against fly tipping will require resources and ingenuity. It will not be cheap. For the moment it’s all we’ve got and it must be done for the sake of our countryside and the protection of the occupiers of land illegally dumped on. As I have said elsewhere too rigorous enforcement of the rules on household waste collection cannot always be a good thing. I have never given into temptation to fling a black sack over a hedge and save myself the hassle. Unfortunately some will.

The odd thing is that for some contractors, rubble and broken concrete has a value as hard-core. Maybe there just needs to be a way of matching up those who have it but don’t want it with those who need it for their projects.