Mayor’s Blog: Unfortunately, Fly-tipping and Litter Persist, but Together we can Make a Difference and Conserve Essential Funds

Council Leader’s blog: Fly-tipping and litter sadly won’t disappear, but we can all do our part to help – and save vital funds

The Great British Spring Clean kicks off on March 15 and as per usual, the council and residents throughout the borough will be out supporting it, aiding in the clean-up of our town.

I know many of you already do your bit and conduct community litter picks, and I appreciate your efforts.

It would be fantastic if even more people got involved this year. For more information, visit the Keep Britain Tidy website.

Ensuring the borough is clean and green is important to you, which is why it’s also a priority for the council – and the reason why I launched Don’t Trash Oldham over two years ago.

In the first year of the campaign, over 4,000 streets and alleyways were cleaned and an additional 284 tonnes of waste was removed. This was in addition to the everyday work of the council.

In the second year, we focused on hotspot areas and made lasting community improvements.

We have also been firm with offenders and issued over 650 fines to those who have committed environmental offences.

There will always be critics, but the work we have done has had an impact.

However, unfortunately, fly-tipping persists. A small minority are happy to defile our communities.

Lately, on social media, I have noticed numerous images of fly-tipping and bags of rubbish being left dumped across the borough.

I’m sure you have seen them too.

This is not a new issue, but, if you’re like me, it makes you angry. I could use stronger language, but I won’t.

Let’s be clear, the people leaving this rubbish are criminals. They are content for the council and caring residents to clean up the mess they have left behind.

The problem is that it is you, the council taxpayer, who ends up footing the bill. It costs over £4m to clear away all the litter and rubbish dumped in our roads, parks, and open spaces. That’s £4m that could be used for other essential council services to support you and your neighbours, particularly the vulnerable.

In many cases, the individuals dumping these items are those who advertise their services on social media.

And it’s your friend, neighbour, or relative who is paying them to do it.

They would be the first to complain if a sofa was dumped at the end of their street, but if theirs is left at Oldham Edge, it’s a case of out of sight, out of mind.

Some of these people who drive around the borough in vans – we’ve all seen them – do not have valid waste carrier licences, which are required to legally dispose of rubbish and goods.

But if the person you messaged on Facebook says they’ll come and take away your old front room cabinet for £20, some of you see it as a bargain and a way to avoid a trip to the tip.

I understand that not everyone can get to the tip, but if that’s the case, please use a trader with a licence or Bulky Bob’s, the council’s bulky waste partner. If you don’t and your rubbish is found dumped, then you could face public scrutiny.

Our Environmental Health officers investigate all reports sent to us and take action if we find evidence that can be traced back to a person or business.

So, please collaborate with us. If you spot dumped waste or someone fly-tipping in your area, simply visit the council website and report it – you’ll be contributing to ensuring your hometown is cleaner, greener, and safer.

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