This recent photo of the recycling site behind the Spar shop in Valley Road was sent in by Melton Times readers William and Beryl Gould PHOTO: Supplied
The council launched its six-month long ‘Me & My Community’ campaign in November, predominantly targeting town centre areas, to clamp down on fly-tipping and environmental crimes which cost the borough’s taxpayers a lot of money every year.
A council spokeswoman said: “Since the launch we have carried out fortnightly joint walkabouts with the police, members of resident groups and council officers. The first audits concentrated on fly-tips, informing residents where they can take bulky items instead of dumping them, telling them we are trying to improve the area and urging the community to get on board with the initiative and come forward with any ideas.
“We have since tackled dog fouling, sending letters to dog owners asking them to be responsible owners and spraying anti-dog fouling stencils onto the pavement highlighting the fact that you can be fined £75 for not picking up after your dog. This will continue throughout the campaign.
“Recent audits have shown a reduction in the amount of bulky items dumped in stairwells and bin stores. It’s hard to give an exact figure with the campaign running for only two months but there does seem to be a shift in residents’ behaviour and, at the moment, we are putting this down to a regular presence of officers in the area providing information and raising awareness.”
She added: “Fly-tipping notices are being attached to fly-tips. Normally these fly-tips would be removed within 24 hours. We are now leaving them for three days in the hope that this will encourage residents to come forward with information or, if they have dumped the item, dispose of it correctly themselves.
“The initiative so far has been a success in the sense that some residents are on board with the campaign, residents and external agencies are working together to improve areas, areas are being regularly monitored and there is a decline in the amount of bulky items dumped. Six months will show even greater results and benefits which can be replicated in other areas.”
This week Melton Times readers William and Beryl Gould, of Valley Road, flagged up a number of ‘grot spots’ in need of urgent attention.
They said: “We still have the same problem here week after week. The area is a recycling site behind the Spar shop in Valley Road where people still think they can come along and dump just about anything they don’t need anymore.
“Even though some of the bags are for charity it is still fly-tipping so it the encourages people to deposit just about anything.
“More ‘grot spots’ that are forever disgracing the people who live in Melton include: either side of the brook than runs along the side of Edendale Road from Leicester Road through to Kirby Lane; the path from Teasel Drive through to Kirby Lane (alongside Kirby Fields Park); Kirby Lane (housing side of the road) through to Dalby Road; Dalby Road/Kirby Lane going east between Swallowdale School and Kirby Lane; the path through from Leicester Road at Valiant Way to the footbridge at the end; from Snow Hill end - path to the right to the country park – either side of the hedge.”
The council spokeswoman said: “With regards to the residents’ ‘grot spot’ letter we are aware of the problems with the site at Valley Road. The council has one recycling bank there which is emptied on a weekly basis and cleared of any fly-tips.
“The problem seems to be with third party recycling banks, particularly the textile bank owned by the British Heart Foundation. We have contacted them and requested that they empty their banks on a more regular basis.
“We have also organised our waste contractors, Biffa, to completely clear any dumped items/bags of waste.
“The recycling banks are on private land, therefore we intend to identify the owner/s and advise them that they have a duty of care to keep the area free from fly-tips and, where practical, take reasonable steps to prevent any further fly-tipping.
“The council is always keen for residents to report ‘grot spots’. The Valley Road site is in hand and we will continue to monitor the site. The other sites listed will be inspected and remedial action taken if it is deemed to be the council’s responsibility.”
The Melton Times, which has been involved in previous ‘grot spot’ busting campaigns with the council, is encouraging readers to send in photos of ‘grot spots’ or fly-tips in need of action.
You can email your photos (jpeg format please) giving details of the location to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will forward the information onto the council for action.
l For more information and to report an incident of fly-tipping visit http://www.melton.gov.uk/info/200084/bins_recycling_and_rubbish/109/report_fly_tipping