WORCESTERSHIRE has bucked the trend compared to other areas with no increase in fly-tipping incidents during the Coronavirus lockdown – that is the view of the county’s district, borough and city councils.
It comes after national media reports that some areas, including Liverpool, Manchester, Lincolnshire and Leicestershire have seen notable rises in people dumping rubbish.
But local authorities in Bromsgrove, Redditch, Wychavon, Malvern and Worcester have all said that was not the case.
One authority told us most of its fly-tipping came from outside of the county and the lockdown – with people being quizzed by the police about why they were out and what they were doing – had prevented such issues.
Another said it had received calls from people saying residents had been reporting neighbours for storing waste on their front gardens or driveways until they could dispose of it.
And another added the true extent of fly-tipping incidents may change when more people get out and about after the restrictions are lifted.
We approached the councils after calls from Labour councillor Peter McDonald to reopen the sites.
He said: “It is important that local authorities maintain that local tips are still open to the public to prevent fly tipping and unnecessary bonfires – in doing so protecting the local environment and public health.”
He accepted the pressures on local authorities and that ‘tips’ needed to be opened in a way social distancing was maintained.
An email we received from a member of the public asked if it would be possible for the sites to re-open on an appointment-only basis to help maintain social distancing regulations.
But Coun Tony Miller, Worcestershire County Council’s Cabinet Member with Responsibility for the Environment, said the household recycling centres remained closed in line with current Government regulations.
“We appreciate residents’ frustrations on this matter and thank those residents who have been composting their grass cuttings at home, putting off DIY jobs until later in the year and storing waste safely at home until the sites re-open.”
The council was working in partnership with its contractor on a way to reopen sites safely when the restrictions are eased.
Coun Miller thanked his district, borough and city council colleagues who had been working hard to ensure regular waste and recycling collections were maintained and urged people to ‘stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives’.
The situation surrounding bulky and garden waste collections vary across the county.
There are currently no bulky waste collections across Bromsgrove and Redditch but garden waste collections are expected to restart soon.
Customers will be notified.
Wychavon and Malvern are collecting garden waste and have just restarted their bulky waste collections.