Boston Council says its approach to tackling litter and other environmental crime in the borough is starting to show positive results.
And council officials say the next group of offenders to be targeted are those who throw litter from their car, along with people who leave wheelie bins on the street and who contaminate their recycling bins.
A new report highlights the number of fixed penalties issued for offences and the number of fly-tipping instances across the borough.
It also looks at successful initiatives that have been carried out with other organisations to tackle the various issues.
The report by Boston Borough Council operations manager Matt Fisher was presented to the council’s overview and scrutiny – environment and performance committee yesterday.
It states that the Council Plan has key aims to maintain cleanliness and ensuring streets and public open spaces are clean and well-maintained.
“At its meeting of 10th January 2018, members of the committee approved a package of measures to help improve the cleanliness of the Borough,” it says.
“This report provides an update on the effectiveness of these measures and outlines future challenges and opportunities that exist in achieving our aims.”
Since the appointment of private company 3GS UK to help carry out enforcement of environmental crime in April last year, the Council says it has had a huge increase in the issue of fixed penalty notices.
In the 14 months up until July this year, the council has issued a total of 960 fixed penalty notices (FPNs).
In the whole of the 2016-17 financial year, just seven notices in total were handed out.
The vast majority of the FPNs have been for discarded cigarettes, with 685 issued. Spitting is next, with 211 issued, fly-tipping 33, general litter 19, urinating 6, chewing gum 3, dog fouling 2, and failing to have means to clean up after a dog, 1.
Fly-tipping continues to be a concern to members, Mr Fisher says.
“Whilst the escalation of fly tipping in the Borough remains a concern and a priority, our experience is consistent with the national picture of a 12% increase,” he points out.
Incidents reported for the 12 month period ending 31 March 2018 totalled 1,021, a small increase on the previous year’s figure of 1,098.
The setting up of the council’s Flyswat team has enabled them to collect 84.5% of reported fly tipping within 2 working days, 30.8% of which was collected the same day, during the last financial year.
The majority of incidents occur either on roads (286) or paths/bridleways (201).
The report welcomes the work the council continues to do with partner organisations, such as The Annual Big Boston Clean Up.
“This project attracts approximately 400 volunteers each year. The quantity of litter collected in April this year was 3.8 tonnes compared against 10.9 tonnes in 2008.,” it states.
“The reduction in the amount of litter collected is a positive indication that our current approach is becoming more effective at addressing littering and waste related anti-social behaviour and has been achieved with a consistent number of volunteers each year.”
The issue of litter being thrown from cars is one of next areas the council is now keen to tackle.
Mr Fisher states that this has been historically a difficult issue to tackle, but councils now have new powers to issue fixed penalties to the registered keeper of a vehicle from which litter is discarded.
“Consultation with Council staff was carried out in July 2018 showing 93% of those participating wanted be involved reporting littering from vehicles,” the report states.
“Arrangements are being put in place to launch this scheme by the end of this year.”
Initiatives are also being put in place to take enforcement action against two issues relating to wheelie bins, contamination of recycling bins with non-recycling materials, and bins being left out on the street.
The report concludes: “The strategic and co-ordinated approach adopted to tackle litter and other areas of environmental crime is proving beneficial to the Council, its residents, visitors and local economy.
“Support from our Members endorsing our strategy of tackling environmental crime remains a vital component of this approach.”
The efforts have been seen by readers, but people are still continuing to dump rubbish. Tammy Doughty said: "There's lots of hard work going on by Boston Brough Council to clean up the town and make it attractive for locals and visitors.
"It's a shame people don't respect it. It's pretty grim. The land opposite Asda that's recently sold is the issue as well as the Gassy Pad and around Station Pad.
FACEBOOK FURY OVER FRAMPTON DUMPING
A recent issue of fly-tipping at Frampton prompted outcry on social media – and quick action from Boston Council.
An image of the picture was posted on Facebook, and many took to the site to condemn those responsible.
The council was alerted and collected the dumped items pictured in a matter of hours.
And evidence left at the scene on the rubbish meant officers were able to easily trace the people responsible, who were issued with £200 penalty notice.
Cllr David Brown, Boston Borough Council’s portfolio holder for waste services, said: “It’s good to see that you are as appalled by those who indiscriminately dump their rubbish as we are.
“All of this rubbish could have been taken to the tip in Bittern Way and disposed of properly for free.
“We will respond quickly to reports of fly-tipping and seek to retrieve any evidence which could lead us to those responsible, who will be dealt with.”
The council asks that if anyone sees any material that has been fly-tipped, they should email the location and a brief description of the items to firstname.lastname@example.org or fill in the online form at www.boston.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=3861 (the form is in the “useful links” tab on the right hand side of the page).