'It's depressing for people who live there' - fly-tipping still an issue in parts of Northampton two months into council's 'deep clean'

Matt King took this photo of fly-tipping on what he's nicknamed a "trash-island"
Matt King took this photo of fly-tipping on what he's nicknamed a "trash-island"

Fly-tipping remains a prevalent issue in parts of Northampton as the borough council continues its efforts to clamp down on rubbish dumping and littering.

When Northampton Borough Council welcomed in the new environmental services contractor Veolia in June - the authority pledged a 90-day clean-up of the town.

These images were taken in and around Alcombe Road

These images were taken in and around Alcombe Road

But with two thirds of that time now up, some areas are still being blighted by fly-tipping.

One resident, 50-year-old Matt King from Abington, says areas around Alcombe Road, a part of Northampton he walks through regularly on his way to work every morning, are particularly concerning.

He says that fly-tippers continuously leave bins on the pavement and that despite the council clearing up the mess, it quickly returns.

"I was walking home and it just suddenly occurred to me that these areas on the corner of the streets are where people dump rubbish," said Mr King, who works in advertising in London.

The fly-tipping outside the Cowper factory

The fly-tipping outside the Cowper factory

"As soon as it's cleared people just come back and dump.

"It's depressing for the people who live down the streets.

"I can understand it if it's the night before bin collections but it's all the time."

A Northampton Borough Council spokesman said that if fly-tips are not reported to the council, the authority cannot send out a clean-up team.

But Mr King suggested the council could be proacvtive and refer to Facebook pages like Northampton's Rubbish to spot instances of fly-tipping.

Another area of concern for the town's residents is outside the Cowper factory.

One reader told the Chron that, as a result of the fly-tipping, she could not open her living room windows because of the smell and flies.

Between April 1 and July 31 this year, Northampton Borough Council’s neighbourhood warden team issued 94 fixed penalty notices for litter, waste and fly-tipping related offences.

The offences, which largely occurred in in The Mounts, Thorplands, Briar Hill, Lings and Abington, include small instances of fly-tipping such as dumped bin bags of rubbish and cardboard, and large fly-tipped items like sofas, mattresses and fridges and commercial waste, which had not been disposed of correctly.

Anyone issued with a fixed penalty notice for fly-tipping faces a fine of up to £400. Failing to pay an on-the-spot fine is a criminal offence and the case would then progress to the Magistrates' Court.

Councillor Mike Hallam, cabinet member for environment, said: “Fly-tipping is a major concern in the town and despite there not being a fly-tipping clearance service, this is costing taxpayers, on average £233.28 per incident to clear.

"We hope that the increased enforcement activity will not only help to improve the town environment but will also show culprits that this behaviour is unacceptable and won’t be tolerated.

"Although the clearing and enforcement activities will continue, we encourage communities to assist us in this area.

"People can help by continuing to report instances of fly-tipping, challenging bad behaviour in their areas and setting a good example.

"This could include clearing up after themselves, taking litter home if public bins are full, putting their waste and recycling out on the correct days and using their local recycling centres."

Veolia promised a "deep clean" of the town and asked residents to judge their work after 90 days, and Councillor Hallam says their progress was "going well".

"The deep clean of the town is going well so far and with an increase in street cleansing resource to help get the town back up to standard, we’re confident that residents will see a difference by September," said Councillor Hallam.

"We thank local residents for their efforts in helping keep their areas safe and clean by organising regular community litter picks and reporting areas of fly tipping and littering to us.

"We encourage you all to keep up this great work and work with us as we continue both our cleaning and enforcement activities in the town."

Mr King admits to having seen a change in the town's cleanliness but said some parts remain "filthy".

"I think the town centre is looking good, I walk through there every morning," he said.

"But there are some black spots like the Kettering Road, which is always filthy."