East Yorkshire council spending taxpayers’ money on fly-tipping clean up
According to the Pocklington Post, the East Riding of Yorkshire Council has spent more than £1 million of taxpayers’ money cleaning up fly-tipped waste in the last three years.
Since April 2013, the number of fly-tipping incidents have increased year on year; in total the council has recorded a 11 per cent rise in fly-tipping crime in the last three years.
In recent months, East Riding council has witnessed a significant increase in the dumping of building waste on rural land in the district. The areas of South Cave and North and South Newbald have been particularly affected by this type of crime, which can carry a fine of up to £50,000 and imprisonment of up to 12 months.
According to council figures, there were 2,817 fly-tipping incidents recorded between April 1, 2013 and March 31, 2014 in East Yorkshire, costing the council £350,000 in clear up costs. The following year, there were 2,903 incidents, costing approximately £340,000.
Last year, between April 1, 2015 to March 31, fly-tipping offences reached 3,126. East Riding council has used £350,000 of taxpayers’ money to clean up after unscrupulous residents and traders.
A spokesperson from East Riding of Yorkshire Council warned potential fly-tippers that any instances of illegally disposed of waste will be thoroughly investigated by council officers.
The spokesperson added: “It is vital that householders understand that, to operate legally, firms that remove waste have to be registered with the Environment Agency as licensed waste carriers. If fly-tipped items can be traced back to their owner, they could face a fine of up to £5,000.”
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Five Clyde Valley councils partner with Viridor to redirect landfill waste for recycling
Five Scottish councils have signed a waste recovery contract worth £700 million with waste management firm Viridor, which will collect and recycle the districts’ municipal waste that was previously destined for landfill.
The contract will run for 25 years and is to begin on December 1, 2019. The councils in North Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire, East Dunbartonshire and North Ayrshire are all part of the new deal, which was negotiated for and signed by head council authority in the Clyde Valley, North Lanarkshire.
Viridor will be responsible for collecting municipal waste from the partner districts; the waste will then be taken for recycling at Viridor’s plant in Bargeddie, North Lanarkshire. Any surplus waste that is not suitable for recycling will be sent to Viridor’s waste to energy facility, which is to be built in Dunbar, East Lothian.
North Lanarkshire council expects 190,000 tonnes of waste to be collected for recycling, which was previously going to landfill sites, costing the local authorities landfill tax and damaging the environment. According to Viridor director, Paul Ringham, the firm hopes to redirect 90 per cent of the partner councils’ waste from landfill sites.
The partnership between the Scottish councils is the first to come about since Sir John Arbuthnott, former chairman of the Greater Glasgow Health Board, suggested in a 2009 review that Clyde Valley councils could benefit financially from working together.
Council leader for North Lanarkshire, Jim Logue, said: “This is an important contract in terms of the scale of waste processing and environmental benefits. By working in partnership, we are delivering improved services for residents, best value for taxpayers, creating new jobs and recycling more waste which would otherwise go to landfill.”
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Residents in Cardiff city notice an increase in fly-tipping following council waste changes
Residents from multiple Cardiff city districts have spoken out about their anger towards the council as waste collection service changes seem to have led to an increase in the amount of fly-tipped waste being dumped on the city streets.
Homeowners in Penylan and Splott are blaming Cardiff City Council for the apparent increase in fly-tipping incidents which are being perpetrated in these two districts and in others around the city.
In July last year, the council introduced a new waste collection system to improve recycling rates. The old 240 litre black wheelie bins, which were previously held by residents, were replaced at a cost of around £2 million by Cardiff City Council with a new 140 litre black bin and a 240 litre green waste bin.
Residents across the affected areas claim that the new 140 litre bins are not large enough for most households and that this is one of the main causes for the increase in fly-tipping.
Homeowners claim that bags of waste and random items of trash are being dumped in city streets and lanes and are creating an “eyesore, obstruction and a health hazard”.
Ian Layzell, from Keep Our Neighbourhood Bin Free, said that the council does eventually collect the fly-tipped waste, but in some instances, it can be sat in the streets for weeks.
Despite the complaints from Cardiff residents, Cabinet member Bob Derbyshire from Cardiff City Council said that the new waste collection service has been successful and the council has seen a rise in the amount of waste being sent for recycling instead of to landfill.
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Plastic recycling plant receives a skip of rotting food by mistake
A suburb of Rochdale has been invaded by a swarm of flies after a plastic recycling plant received a skip of rotting food by mistake.
Homes in the district of Smallbridge have been over-run with hundreds of flies, after a skip of rotting food waste was sent to the plastic recycling company ABC Recycling Ltd, on Dye House Lane.
The infestation even forced a local pub, The Greengate Hotel, on Halifax Road, to stop saving meals, when a swarm of over 200 flies invaded their kitchen. The closure caused the pub to lose £800 in takings.
One resident, Andrea Walton, who lives on Ashbrook Crescent, said that she had ‘hundreds’ of flies in her home.
Andrea said: “It’s bad. There are hundreds of flies in my house, circling around my back door and on the windows. I have to put a piece of paper over my hot and cold drinks as I end up with a few dead in it.”
Staff from the Environment Agency have had to make regular visits to the plastic recycling centre and pesticides have been sprayed at the site to deal with the incident. The Environment Agency will continue to monitor the centre until the problem has been fully resolved.
A spokesperson from the Environment Agency said: “ABC Recycling hold an exemption to store and treat plastic waste.”
The manager of ABC Recycling Ltd, Mr Habib Ihsan, confirmed that the site did mistakenly receive one skip of rotting food waste and that it was put into landfill. He went on to say that the mistake was being dealt with and that they are working closely with the Environment Agency.
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The new Mayor of London aims to be the ‘greenest Mayor ever’
The new Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, who defeated Zac Goldsmith to win by a clear majority, has proposed to become the “greenest Mayor ever”.
The successor to Boris Johnson has in the past spoke of his desire to spark a “clean energy revolution” within the capital, with his ultimate goal of seeing London running on 100% green energy by the year 2050.
Mr Khan’s pledges will now be put to the test, some of which include planting two million trees, introducing more electric buses, banning fracking in London and increasing the Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ).
Air quality sits highly on Mr Khan’s green policy list. Recent media publicity from pressure groups, such as Greenpeace and Clean Air in London and from national newspapers, has somewhat heightened the concerns over the quality of air in the capital during the past decade.
YouGov did a survey recently in the capital, asking people what policies the new Mayor needed to administer to improve the quality of air in London. Many people have voiced their desire to see taxis and diesel buses removed from the capital’s roads.
A large number of people would also like to see more encouragement for electric vehicle purchasing and therefore, more charging points to be made available.
Mr Khan has in the past proposed a Clean Bus Corridors Scheme and for the Government to introduce a new diesel car ’scrappage scheme’, to encourage and support those wanting to change their vehicle for a greener one.
Thanks to a UK Supreme Court ruling in 2015, the Government has to come up with a new plan on how the air quality in the capital can be improved.
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New research suggests that reducing food waste would help reduce greenhouse gas emissions
A new study published in the Environmental Science & Technology journal claims that reducing global food waste and changing consumer behaviour is key to reducing worldwide carbon emissions.
The article, titled ‘Food Surplus and its Climate Burdens’ was produced by a team of scientists from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. The study co-writer, professor Jurgen Kropp, said that agriculture and a “meat-rich diet” are two of the major causes of carbon dioxide emissions.
According to the study, the growing global population (expected to reach nine billion by 2050) and the “calorie-rich” diet enjoyed in third-world countries were both resulting in excessive food waste and that this food waste represents 10 per cent of the greenhouse gases produced during agricultural processes.
Professor Kropp and his fellow researchers found that there was a correlation between global greenhouse gas emissions and the increase in “global food requirements from 2,300 to 2,400 [calories per person each day]” and an increase in food waste “from 310 to 510 [calories per person each day]”.
According to the research, during this same time period greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural and food processes rose to an equivalent of 530 million tonnes of CO2 per year from a previous annual production of 130 million tonnes.
The study also discussed future possibilities in relation to the “rapidly increasing” population in “emerging economies like China or India”, which forecasted yet more bad news for food waste and global greenhouse gas emissions.
Professor Kropp commented: “Avoiding food loss could pose a leverage to various challenges at once, reducing environmental impacts of agriculture, saving resources used in food production, and enhance local, regional, and global food security.”
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The service will cost £40 a year for residents who sign up
Almost 2,000 residents have already signed up to a new garden waste recycling service that started in early April.
The new optional service has been organised by Calderdale Council and will work with waste contractor SUEZ. The scheme allows residents requiring their garden waste to be collected from home to opt-in to the new scheme.
Brand new bins, along with a leaflet covering the collection dates for the rest of the year, are being delivered and the first bin collections started on Saturday, April 9.
Mark Thompson, the Council’s director of economy and environment, said: “This is the first step in a number of improvements to our waste and recycling services this year… Calderdale is already in the top 10 for recycling rates in England, but we want to help people recycle even more.”
The new service will cost residents £40 a year and includes a green wheelie bin and Saturday collections, every fortnight, from March to November.
For residents wishing to share the cost with neighbours or friends, a subscription service is available. They must register their subscription and arrange for collection from one household only.
Most familiar garden waste products are suitable for collection, such as hedge trimmings, grass cuttings and leaves but soil, rubble, plant pots and garden equipment are not acceptable.
A sack collection will be available for properties that are not suitable for a wheelie bin.
Other areas in the country have also introduced the new garden waste collection service, including Birmingham City Council, where residents pay an annual £33 fee for the fortnightly service if they sign up online.
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Former shop owner fined £1.3k for fly-tipping business waste, including raw meat
A woman from the Northamptonshire town of Wellingborough has been fined over £1,000 after council environmental officers connected her to a pile of fly-tipped business waste which had been dumped on farmland.
The fly-tipped waste had been reported to East Northamptonshire Council by a passerby in August 2015. The council officers attended the scene in Mill Road, Woodford, and discovered a significant amount of rubbish, which contained black refuse bags full of cooked meat and even raw meat.
The environmental officers also found cardboard and used plastic food bags dumped on the farmland.
The council began an investigation and were able to trace the pile of commercial waste back to former shop owner, Natalia Szweda, who appeared as an individual in Northampton Magistrates Court on 26 April 2016 and pleaded guilty to charges.
Ms Szweda’s business had been dissolved since the waste had been fly-tipped and therefore no prosecution could be brought against the business itself. Ms Szweda was fined £150 for the clear up, £390.67 for council officer costs, £700 for prosecution costs, and a £60 victim surcharge.
In addition to these fines, the defendant was given a six week curfew between 6pm and 6am and ordered to carry out 12-months community service work.
The waste services manager at East Northamptonshire Council, Charlotte Tompkins, said: “We have a zero tolerance policy on any matters of environmental crime and our waste team do all they can to prosecute those who fly-tip in our district.”
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The Cambridgeshire council is now providing free food waste bags to encourage resident recycling
Peterborough City Council is expecting a sharp rise in the amount of food waste being sent for recycling by residents after changing the free food caddy bags from biodegradable to plastic.
The county of Cambridgeshire council said its already noticed a 25 per cent increase in the amount of food waste being sent for recycling. The council hopes that overall food waste recycling will now rise by 90 tonnes per month.
Residents living within the Peterborough City Council boundaries are now being supplied with a roll of 40 new 7-litre high-density polyethylene (HDPE) liners, which can themselves be easily recycled. The free plastic sacks are designed to encourage residents to recycle their food waste rather than throw it away with their general household waste.
Amy Nebel, the recycling officer from Peterborough City Council, said the free plastic food waste bags are a cost-effective way of increasing the district’s food waste recycling, as the new sacks are much cheaper that the previous biodegradable bags.
The council hopes to save around £60,000 per year, if residents continue to recycle their food waste at the increased rate. Each roll of HDPE bin liners comes with an order tag, so residents can order more for free when they are running low.
The food waste produced in the Peterborough district is sent to a Biogen AD renewable energy plant, where its is processed to create energy for the national grid and to create agricultural fertiliser.
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A Leeds homeowner and a tradesman have been fined for fly-tipping in Leeds
Two individuals have been prosecuted in Leeds Magistrates’ Court after they were connected to two separate incidents of fly-tipping on the streets of Leeds.
The first culprit, Florentina Daniela Ciurar, of Hunslet, dumped household renovation waste on Woodview Street, directly in front of her renovation project. Environmental officers from Leeds City Council chose to prosecute the woman because the waste was endangering the public as it was spilling over onto the road.
Leeds City Council organised the removal of the waste, which included used carpet, old furniture and miscellaneous household items. She was fined £250, and ordered to pay costs of £500 and a £25 victim surcharge.
A ‘man and a van’ business owner was also prosecuted in Leeds Magistrates’ Court after dumping waste at a retail park in Hunslet. David Horsefield, of Belle Isle, had collected household waste from a customer but had disposed of it illegally rather than paying for its disposal. Leeds City Council officers were able to connect the offender’s van to the fly-tipping crime.
Mr Horsefield claimed that someone else had been using his van when the waste had been fly-tipped, but this could not be proved in court. He was fined £250 and ordered to pay costs of £350 and a £25 victim surcharge.
Councillor Mark Dobson, from Leeds City Council, commented: “While we prefer to work with residents and businesses to educate and encourage people on proper ways to dispose of rubbish, there are times when we have to take immediate legal action and clean up to protect communities.”
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