West Somerset Council is becoming increasingly concerned about fly-tipping locally as the problem is escalating.
Recent incidents saw waste being dumped in a country road between Timberscombe and Dunster – inside Exmoor National Park’s boundary – and bags of rubbish thrown down embankments along the West Somerset Railway.
The Timberscombe incident forced the closure of the road while the waste was cleared up – apparently it had been tipped from a lorry or large van. A similar incident was reported in Luxborough, also in the National Park.
Cllr Martin Dewdney, Lead Member for the Environment with West Somerset Council, said: “These incidents not only despoil our nationally important landscape but could put lives at risk.
“Throwing waste down the railway embankment could potentially derail a train, leading to injury. It’s also dangerous for our staff to have to clear the rubbish from the steep slopes.
“There’s no excuse for fly tipping,” said Cllr Dewdney. “It’s an environmental crime. All households in our district have recycling and refuse collections and we have recycling sites – in Minehead, Dulverton (£2 entry) and in Williton.
“People can arrange to have bulky waste collected. If they choose to employ someone to take waste away, they should check their credentials to make sure they have a waste carrier’s licence and should make sure they know where the waste will go.
“Clearing up fly tipping is an expensive business – it is wrong that people are effectively robbing the public purse by dumping waste indiscriminately.”
West Somerset has for many years had the enviable record of the lowest number of fly-tipping incidents of any district in Somerset – from 93 in 2012-13 to 77 in 2013-14 and 87 in 2014-15 – so any increase, however small, is of concern.
West Somerset Council works closely with all other local authorities in Somerset to drive down dumping and deter, catch and convict fly-tippers. Efforts include better cooperation with police, new surveillance equipment, warning signs and further training for enforcement officers.
It is easy for West Somerset residents to protect themselves against fly-tippers: never pay cash for waste to be removed, get a receipt and keep notes of people, contact details and vehicles, and check that tradespeople – builders, gardeners, carpet layers – have a waste carrier licence and can explain where the waste will go.
And residents are advised that if they see fly-tippers or fly-tipping, they should stay safe, take notes and report it to West Somerset Council customer services on email@example.com or 01643 703704.
There’s more information on fighting fly-tipping on our website: www.westsomersetonline.gov.uk/flytipping
Note: Attached a photo of the flytipping on the Dunster to Timberscombe road
Debbie Rundle, on behalf of West Somerset Council,01984 635280 or 01823 356407 email firstname.lastname@example.org