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Tipped over the edge?

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Only last week Curry Rivel Website published a good news message from Somerset Waste Partnership telling us how well the first Somerset reuse week had gone, with the Fixy van collecting dozens of items of smart tech to be refurbished and reused and repair cafes taking off across the county.

But oh how things change. Curry Rivel Online has learned this week of a specific problem of garden waste being dumped in the hedge along Dyers Road. We are informed that the Council is addressing this through letters.

But, you cry, it's only garden waste! In a hedge. It'll rot down. What can possibly be the problem?

Well, garden waste damages hedges and blocks ditches – oh, and by the way it's illegal!

Tipping garden waste into hedges or ditches amounts to fly-tipping and disposal of waste in this manner is subject to penalties for people who offend.

Fly-tipping of waste including green waste poses a threat to humans and wildlife, blocks the flow of water, damages our environment and spoils our enjoyment of our towns and countryside.

More generally, fly-tipping is a problem because it is illegal and costs an estimated £86 to £186 million every year to investigate and clear up. This cost is met from your council tax and other taxes that we all pay.

As with other things that affect environment quality, areas subject to repeated fly-tipping may suffer declining property prices and local businesses may suffer as people stay away. Is that what we want for Curry Rivel?

Fly-tipping undermines the legitimate waste businesses where illegal operators undercut those operating within the law. At the same time rogue traders undermine the reputation of legal operators.

All households have a legal responsibility to check they are transferring their household and garden waste to a carrier registered with the Environment Agency. Householders who fail to comply could also face sanctions.

Fixed penalty notices were introduced in January 2019 for breaches of householder duty of care. The duty of care requires occupiers of domestic property to take all reasonable measures to ensure that household waste is only handed over to an authorised person.

"I thought Dumpit and Scarper sounded like a reputable firm" is no defence. Check!

Happily, most residents do dispose of their household and garden waste responsibly and we all benefit from that. Many use the Somerton recycling centre and others subscribe to a South Somerset District Council garden waste bin which collects green waste every 3 weeks. Alternatively garden waste bags can be ordered and collection organised when convenient. More information here

Everyone can do their bit by disposing of waste responsibly and by reporting any evidence of fly tipping to

With everyone's cooperation we can keep our village beautiful to everyone's benefit.

And it isn't just Curry Rivel – though that shouldn't make us feel complacent. The independent charity, Keep Britain Tidy, has extensively researched behaviours and this year shared its insights with local authorities across the UK to try to help them develop timely interventions to tackle the problem of fly-tipping.

In modern Britain. In the 21st Century. Who would have thought it necessary?

The report is attached – you may find it makes interesting reading. Or perhaps depressing reading?

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