Council carries out 3,755 litter and waste investigations in 12 months

Flytipping blighting the isle

Thanet council has carried out 3,755 enforcement investigations into litter and waste offences over the past 12 months.

Teams have cleared a 3,500 tonnes of waste from isle beaches, 100 tonnes of fly-tipped rubbish, emptied 900 tonnes of rubbish from bins and cleared 840,00 tonnes of detritus during street sweeping.

Speaking at a full council meeting last Thursday cabinet member for operational services Jason Savage, praised the efforts of frontline staff who cleared up after “residents and visitors who litter and flytip on our streets.”

During the past year 69 fines for £400 have been dished out and 25 people have been successfully  prosecuted for flytipping; another 67 prosecutions have been made against those who failed to pay fixed penalty fines; 190 enforcement notices have been handed out for waste and pest damage; 772 environmental protection notices have been served; 60 trade waste notices given out and 107 community protection warnings plus 20 community protection fines of £100 were served.

Cllr Savage added: “We are doing all that can be done with the resources at our disposal.”

The figures were given in response to a question from Thanet resident, and former councillor, Martin Wise who said: “The basic competence of a council can be measured in its ability to keep streets and highways free from litter and other detritus. To its shame, Thanet council fails spectacularly in this regard and shames us all. What are you going to doing about it? Residents and visitors deserve better.”

The latest flytipping prosecution by Thanet council was heard at Folkestone Magistrates on Monday (March 25).

A Ramsgate man was found guilty on two counts of depositing waste. On each count the defendant was fined £2,640.  In total, he was ordered to pay £7,203.81 within 28 days. This includes a fine of £5280, £855 in legal costs, £428.51 enforcement costs and £470 compensation to the landowner where the waste was dumped, as well as £170 victim surcharge.

The fly-tips were discovered on farmland on Chalk Hill, Ramsgate, and in an alleyway in St Lawrence last June, and consisted of household waste from a Thanet resident’s property. Included in the fly-tips were personal documentation and private paperwork linked to the family and property.

The defendant took waste away and dumped it.

Gavin Waite, Director of Operational and Commercial Services at Thanet District Council said:  “Fly-tipping is a crime and dumped waste is a blight on the local landscape. Anyone who offers to remove waste must be licensed to do so. People ought to be aware that they shouldn’t just hand their waste over to someone who is offering to take it away, unless they’ve checked their credentials. It might seem like a good deal at the time but the person whose waste it is could also face some serious consequences if it ends up being dumped illegally.”

Disposing of waste

Registered waste carriers can be checked on the Environment Agency website.

Thanet District Council offers residents a bulky waste collection service for a nominal sum.

Kent County Council operates a recycling centre at Manston Road which is open daily.

Reporting fly-tipping

Anyone who witnesses fly-tipping is encouraged to report it online or directly to [email protected]

9 Comments

  1. Hmmm. I think a lot of people think the streets are dirtier, with litter and dog mess. I have called for a bulk waste collection for Newington for three years. I managed to get the council to get a few roads done. It makes a huge difference if the council assist residents to dispose of rubbish properly. Not all residents can afford to pay, or can manage heavier or bulky items. It’s a benefit to residents and visitors alike to get to grips with this problem.

  2. More rubbish bins are needed in the Margate harbour area with so many people eating on the harbour steps and especially those buying fish & chips at Pete’s – the bins there just aren’t big enough.

  3. Waste collection and management is a divided activity in Kent between the Districts and County. Cllr Savage’s figures give support to the view that for most fly-tippers there is little chance of being caught and prosecuted. Only 69 or 1.8% of the 3775 investigations resulted in a fixed penalty.Only 25 or 0.6% of the total of investigations resulted in a prosecution.99.4% get away scot free.
    If they dump on private ground the landowner has to pay for the removal of waste.
    It is a crime and it is anti social.
    How do we reduce the level of fly tipping? here are some solutions:
    1. Reform the waste management and collection system under one authority as happens in Medway or other unitary authority.
    2.Meld all the District flytipping investigation teams under one county wide body, so it can concentrate on the professional fly tippers, who do not respect District borders.
    3.Improve and encourage more waste to be received through the Household Waste recycling sites and open some more in each District.The current cuts and restrictions are counter productive.
    4. make sure the fines for professional fly tippers are financially painful and award community service whereby they spend many happy hours cleaning up their mess.I note the recent case was more in line with this proposal but more could be done.

    • George Nokes I totally agree with your comments with regard to the issues of fly tipping. I have commented separately on general littering in the streets. Role on a Unitary Authority for East Kent!

  4. Hmmm. I wonder if the traveling community get fined for all the filth they leave behind ? I would not be surprised if they get away with it.

  5. Why didn’t the ramsgate man who was found guilty just say he was a traveller ??…..after all we can’t have one rule for one one for another….oh wait this is Britain so we can.
    Everyone who litters should be fined but there is a serious lack of bins

  6. Makes no difference if you see it happening and tell the Council because they don’t do anything. This is just the usual nonesensical fake news put out every so often in the hope it puts you off tipping to save them funding clean-up teams. They cannot even prosecute those illegal caravan site users for all their fly-tipping. The Community comes together all over Thanet cleaning up their areas but the council does very little.

  7. It is easy to attack the Council and bemoan the dirty streets! Many of the front line staff do a fantastic job from street cleaners to refuse collectors. How many people who moan about dirty streets do anything about it? Do you bend down and pick a discarded bottle or food wrapper up? You could pour thousands of extra pounds in street cleaning but you can bet far as soon as a street cleaner has been round some two legged moron will have discarded there fast food wrapper, drinks can or as occurs on occasions a used child’s nappy.

  8. My response Cllr. Savage was as follows:

    Cllr. Savage,

    Thank you for your response to my question at the Full Council meeting on 28th March evening:“The basic competence of a Council can be measured in its ability to keep streets and highways free from litter and other detritus. To its shame, Thanet Council fails spectacularly in this regard and shames us all. What are you going to do about it? Residents and visitors deserve better.”

    Given the appalling litter-strewn state of many streets, verges and through-roads in Thanet, and the harm that this can do to resident wellbeing and our environment, I had rather hoped that you would use my question as an opportunity to inform me of the plans you have made with officers in your time in office to raise awareness amongst the general public of the problems caused by litter, and what you have put in place to make improvements for the future. But you chose instead simply to report statistics of collections in the past year by TDC staff.

    In spite of all the actions taken by the Council in your report, it is evident for all to see that the incidence of litter on our streets is far worse today than it was a year ago. Meaning that the work the Council is undertaking is not sufficient to correct the problems.You rightly thanked officers and staff for the work that they do, and seemed to believe that this is all that needed to be said. But you completely failed even to mention the many volunteer groups and individuals who give up their time to do work which is the responsibility of the Council. I dread to think what our streets would look like without the efforts of these wonderful truly community-minded people who go completely unsung, even by yourself as the Cabinet Member responsible, when you have an opportunity to thank them their efforts on our behalf.

    I raised what I saw as a growing problem in an E-mail to all Conservative councillors last July, urging them to demand action before the situation came to be seen as “normal”. I amsorry to state that I now believe that many residents seeing litter on the streets andpavement today do indeed now accept it as “normal”. And my casual research amongst friends and neighbours suggests that the majority are not pleased.

    You will be aware I am sure that it is a well-chronicled fact that “eyesore” litter reduces pride in an area and adversely affects physical and mental health. The more litter that people see, the more likely some are to litter themselves. And the Keep Britain Tidy group have stated ina recent report that “litter is one of the first signs of social decay”. I believe we have enough problems in this regard without needlessly adding to them.

    I am told that the number of street cleaners has reduced in recent years from 72 (according to service head Gavin Waite) to around 18 now. This is clearly not only as a result of Conservative government austerity measures, but also the failure of councillors from all groups to understand and take action to curb the losses at Ramsgate port in recent years. According to those who follow these matters closely, this has resulted in almost £8mbeing cut from Council services, including street-cleaning, since 2015. A double whammy for residents that should never have occurred, and a damning indictment of the stewardship of the Council’s finances by senior councillors such as yourself.

    I have no doubt that with focus, determination and a can-do attitude measures could be put in place within, and outside the Council, to do what is necessary to make improvements. Education programs, canvassing support from schools and businesses, media and targeted poster campaigns, discussions with KCC and town councils, etc. are all fairly standard means to promote change of behaviour amongst residents, and I am sure that with appropriate political direction, and imagination, much could be achieved. Of course, this would require relentless and energetic commitment and dedication to the cause from yourself.

    You spent much time at the Council meting castigating residents and visitors for their littering tardiness, and seemed to rather enjoy doing so. I think leadership and encouragement was required at this point rather than blind criticism and seeming acceptance that nothing further could be done.

    I am afraid that there was nothing that I saw or heard from your own performance which leads me to believe that you have the leadership attributes necessary to achieve the results required. And your reported non-attendance at community litter-picking events and meetings, where Iam told you have never been a regular supporter, confirms my observation. So, you are clearly simply the mouth-piece for your officers, and as such give local politicians a badname.

    As a Conservative I wish you well in the forthcoming elections on 2nd May, but I sincerely hope that for the benefit of all residents of Thanet, you will not be councillor responsible for the Operational Services portfolio in the future.

    Yours faithfully,

    M.J.Wise

    cc All TDC District CouncillorsSir Roger Gale MPCraig Mackinlay MPCllr. Paul Carter, KCC LeaderBrandon Lewis MP, Chairman of the Conservative PartyGavin Waite, TDC Director, Operational Services The Editor, IOTG (by E-mail)The Editor, Kent Extra (by E-mail)Kathy Bailes, Isle of Thanet News (by E-mail)

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