Fly-Tipping – Scourge Of Our Streets!
There seems to be a perceptible increase in fly-tipping of late. The fact that some people seem to be unable to recognise that dumping their rubbish in everyone else's space is a distinctly unpleasant habit seems to pass them by.
The strangest thing is that often the effort to get their rubbish into some of the places it ends up must be far greater than the simple task of taking it down to the recycling centre. What is so hard for these people to understand?
I have to admit I've just made up the phrase: 'car-tipping'. But rather than the bigger items of furniture often dumped - this is a description of people who buy their take-away then sit in their car in some quiet place to eat it.
Then they carefully place all their rubbish back in the take-away bag in order not to dirty the interior of their car - and dump the whole lot out of their window before driving away!
Those of us living close to take-away shops and handy lay-bys or quiet side roads know this one well.
The government has recognised this problem and as of 10 April 2017 this has become a specific offence with a standard £75 fine. What's more, the usual defence of: 'It wasn't me, Guv' is no longer available and the owner of the car is in line for the fine even if they claim that it wasn't them that threw the litter.
So the registration number is all we need to pin down the culprit.
However, the issue for those of us with a clear conscience and a desire to live in a clean and pleasant land always remains the same: what to do about the mess these people leave behind them. Especially when it is large and cumbersome and beyond the capability of your local community group to litter-pick and dispose of.
Kirklees smartphone app
Residents using our streets every day are by far the most effective eyes and ears to spot fly-tipping just as soon as it happens - and best able to report it immediately to Kirklees Streetscene. Streetscene will then arrange to remove it as soon as they are able.
However, the traditional methods of phoning or emailing the information to Kirklees or reporting to your local councillors are time consuming and ineffective in this day and age.
Recognising this, Kirklees has produced an app that can be downloaded from the Playstore to your smartphone to enable you to report incidents of fly-tipping and other problems quickly and easily.
Being on your smartphone, the app already knows it's location, then you can add a quick photo to be absolutely clear what you are reporting, hit the Send button and the jobs done. It's not necessary to identify yourself and they actually make that rather laborious if you wish to do so.
The app also has many other useful functions including reporting everyone's other favourite subject of potholes.
The second option is to use MySociety.org which will provide you with the means to quickly report fly-tipping and ensure that the information is sent to the correct local authority
This has the advantage that you can use it 'away from home' when you probably will not be familiar with the local authority but will still be incensed to find fly-tipped rubbish spoiling your view and your day.
With close to 4,000 reports per week going to MySociety.org it's obviously working for lots of people.
Word of Mouth
Finally, this situation is not going to change until the culprits understand just how much they are loathed by the people they live amongst - usually referred to as their neighbours. So speak out, speak loud and long in public places about how disgusting we find the behaviour of those who sneak out in the night to spread their filth across our streets.