St Albans fly-tipping incidents have skyrocketed since 2014

PUBLISHED: 15:00 15 March 2018

The fridges were flytipped on Symondshyde Lane.

The fridges were flytipped on Symondshyde Lane.

Archant

Fly-tipping incidents across St Albans district have skyrocketed since 2014, the Herts Ad can reveal.

The fly-tipping blocked the road.The fly-tipping blocked the road.

Data unearthed by this newspaper shows fly-tipping has increased 56 per cent from 2013 to 2014, and then stayed at a similar level since then.

There were 611 fly-tips in 2010, 647 in 2011, 638 in 2012, 713 in 2013, and then 1,114 in 2014.

In 2015 there were 1040 incidences, 1,372 in 2016, and 1,024 in 2017. Since 2014, 785 roads have been blocked by illegally dropped waste.

Most incidents are reported to St Albans district council (SADC), but if the rubbish blocks a public highway, it is the responsibility of Herts county council (HCC).

The statistics do not include waste dumped on private land.

Herts county councillor Sandy Walkington campaigned to stop HCC restricting St Albans rubbish tips opening hours in 2014. The change did not come into force until 2015 - a year after the fly-tip rises.

He said: “The chickens are truly coming home to roost. We always argued it was penny-wise, pound-poor to try to save budget with partial closure of the county’s household waste sites when there was already evidence that fly-tipping was on the increase.

“It ends up with our beautiful country lanes getting wrecked and communal waste areas serving blocks of flats also being used as dumps.

“The long-suffering council tax payer picks up the bill.

“The county council needs to rethink its policy on waste site opening times, and SADC could also up its game on using hidden cameras in known dumping spots.

“Each incident of fly-tipping is a blight on our environment.”

Since April 2017, 35 people have been prosecuted for fly-tipping in Hertfordshire and over 100 £300 fines have been issued.

A spokesperson from HCC said: “There is no known link between fly-tipping and availability of our Household Waste and Recycling Centres (HWRC).

“The opening hours of all our HWRC’s are well advertised, allowing residents to plan their journey accordingly.

“All of our HWRCs are ‘paired’ so if someone needs to use a centre urgently on one of the two mid-week days when it is closed, they can drive to the next available centre and use the service there.”

Head of community services for SADC, Joe Tavernier, said: “This rise does not appear to have been the result of changed opening hours at the county council-run recycling centres as that did not take place until early 2015 after the increase was established. Moreover, incidents fell during 2015.

“Rather, the jump would appear to mirror a national trend. Various reasons have been put forward to explain this, but the cause remains unclear.

“To deter fly-tippers, we have taken a number of robust actions in recent years. These have included prosecutions, the introduction of Fixed Penalty Notice fines, the use of surveillance cameras at hot-spots and stop-and-search checks with police on suspect vehicles.”

This follows a few recent fly-tipping incidents in and around St Albans.

A huge pile of stones, rubble, planks of wood and rubbish were left by Smug Oak Lane and Drop Lane in Bricket Wood.

On Furzebush Lane a pile of wood debris was strewn across a road and about 20 fridges were dumped on Tower Hill Lane and Symondshyde Lane.

Additionally tyres and trade waste were left in communal bins at a block of flats in London Colney, angering residents.

Anyone who spots fly-tipping taking place should contact police on 999.

Anything discovered after the event should be reported to SADC on 01727 809019 or on wastemanagementservices@stalbans.gov.uk

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CountryPhile

I should probably have taken the hint! Walking out into the garden recently an unprecedented flock of thirty or more crows raucously greeted me from the treetops at the bottom of my garden. Cawing and croaking these big, black birds clung clumsily to the top most branches and twigs, jostling and flapping to stay balanced in a constant flurry of feathers. There is always something ominous about crows – they are after all carrion crows, the vultures of the bird world – always watching for scraps and weakness that might mean their next meal.

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