A freedom of information request by the South Woodham Ferrers Council Taxpayers Association has revealed that flytipping has reached a record high in our area since the booking system for recycling centres was introduced by Essex County Council.
After the booking system was introduced, there were a shocking 222 incidents of flytipping in our district from January to April (the booking system was introduced at some recycling centres in November 2022 and at South Woodham on 13 March 2023). In the 5 years before the system was introduced there were an average of 86 incidents per quarter, so this is 258% higher.
It is also not clear from Essex County Council’s decision on their booking policy whether their aim is to reduce the recycling they receive or to reduce congestion at their amenity sites. If it is to reduce recycling then it’s reasonable to assume that that recycling is probably ending up in over-filled kerbside recycling bins or worse in non-recyclable rubbish and therefore causing harm to the environment on top of potential flytipping.
Keith Bentley, Chair of the South Woodham Ferrers Taxpayers Association said: “While these extraordinary flytipping figures don’t necessarily show Essex County Council’s new booking system is to blame for the increase, any impediment to people being able to dispose of household recycling should be investigated.
“There have rarely been any queues to use the recycling centre in South Woodham Ferrers and we’re also concerned that this is leading to an increase in people trying to dispose of more waste via kerbside collection which could have an impact on Chelmsford Council’s resources. We’ll be pressing both councils to get more answers.”
Although the flytipping incidents slightly reduced in the past quarter to 127, this is still higher than average, so SWFCTA will continue to ask questions of the Conservative County Council who implemented this unnecessary and possibly environmentally damaging policy.