Do you know what really gets my goat…Ruffles my feathers, makes my blood boil? Fly-Tipping. The definition of which is – The illegal deposit of any waste onto land that does not have a licence to accept it. Not only is it appalling for the environment and hazardous to the public, but it is also an illegal offense which you can and should be prosecuted for. As a man of the countryside who enjoys the simple things, not to be confused with a simple man who enjoys the countryside, I love taking my two small children and dog for walks in our surrounding area. Increasingly however, the hedgerows and open fields are being invaded by debris; mattresses, old washing machines, clothes… You name it, you will find it somewhere amongst the stunning landscape of Kent.
The Facts and Figures
Sadly, yet another consequence of the Pandemic and Covid-19, fly-tipping has increased by 16% in the UK over the last two years. Local authorities were forced to deal with 1.13 million cases of rubbish dumped on highways and in beauty spots in 2020/2021, up from 980,000 the previous year. Debris was dumped mostly on pavements and roads, making up 485 of every 1,000 cases, followed by footpaths and bridleways at 198 in every 1,000.
The most common quantity of rubbish to be dumped was the equivalent of a small van load, accounting for 34% of total cases, followed by a car boot size or less at 26%.
Clearing up all the large fly-tipping incidents cost local authorities in England £11.6 million, up from £10.9 million the previous year.
The closure of recycling centres is most likely to have had an impact on these figures, but it does an excellent job of highlighting that there is a genuine issue in the UK with waste, and people’s attitude towards the disposal of it.
My New Year’s Resolution – who’s with me?
In a bid to create a more picturesque rambling experience for my children, and help the planet along the way, I have decided to spend a morning each month clearing up the unwanted rubbish in and around our area. 5hrs a month doesn’t seem a lot in the grand scheme of things, but if I can rope in friends, family and colleagues each time, we just might be able to make a difference and raise awareness. I can safely say that this is the first year that ‘litter picker’ and ‘puncture resistant gloves’ have featured on my Christmas List!
Rant Over – What is everybody else’s New Year’s Resolution?!