What is being done to tackle fly-tipping scourge?

Flytipping behind the former King Offa pub in Sopwell.

Flytipping behind the former King Offa pub in Sopwell. - Credit: Iain Grant

Something needs to be done about the ongoing issue of fly-tipping in parts of St Albans, campaigners have urged.

According to residents of Sopwell, rubbish strewn across the ward is being left uncollected for weeks or even months, despite complaints to their local councillor.

Locations include the footpath running from Mandeville Drive to Tavistock Avenue, the green space running along from Trumpington Drive, close to the footpath cutting through from Pemberton Close, and in Norman Close behind the former King Offa pub site.

Fly-tipped rubbish in Norman Close, Sopwell.

Fly-tipped rubbish in Norman Close, Sopwell. - Credit: Iain Grant

ONS data shows that fly-tipping data in St Albans increased from 150 cases in 2020 to 910 in 2021.

Janet Smith, former Labour Council member for Sopwell, said: “Fly-tipping has become a massive issue in Sopwell over the past six months. Dumped rubbish poses both environmental and health risks. Residents deserve better but a lack of action from the local council means that they’ve faced months of walking past and looking at a tip.”

This rubbish in Pemberton Close, Sopwell, was only cleared after two months.

This rubbish in Pemberton Close, Sopwell, was only cleared after two months. - Credit: Iain Grant

Local resident Iain Grant said: “I regularly have to walk past mounds of rubbish on my way into St Albans city centre and it's disgusting. I, and other residents, have asked the council multiple times over the last few months to remove the waste but nothing has been done.”

Sopwell ward councillor Mandy McNeil responded: "We understand that there have been issues in terms of waste collection in general including Veolia staff shortages and some closed waste/recycling locations over COVID which may have exacerbated conditions leading to fly-tipping, but fly-tipping is unacceptable. 

"We are just awaiting on officers to come back to us with turnaround time on the back of some of your specific queries and will provide a more detailed response, including some background, where we are permitted to give detail as to where the duty of care and responsibilities lay based on landownership.

Most Read

"However in general  we are aware of fly-tipping incidents, although not necessarily aware of them all, and have visited several sites, including repeat hotspots, working together with enforcement officers to try and curb repeat offences. This has included working with enforcement officers to get incidents to prosecution in one instance. Where we come across incidents ourselves we photograph and coordinate with officers directly.

"As soon as we are notified of an issue directly by residents we can get a timely response (depending on who the landowner is).  So we urge residents to contact us directly if they are not getting a timely response in the system so we can help to expedite."