Northampton fly-tipping 'getting worse' as residents complain about 'vile' piles of rubbish all over town
A Northampton resident is being tormented by rats supposedly attracted by a large pile of rubbish outside his home, while a shop owner believes fly-tipping is getting worse.
Examples of split-open bin bags, mattresses, and household waste are being reported to the Chronicle & Echo on a regular basis.
Marcus Middleton is having a particularly trying time with vermin thanks, he says, to fly-tipping outside his house on Lower Adelaide Street.
"I have already purchased all the professional equipment to catch the rats and my garden and house have approximately 10 traps with professional bait in them," he said.
"I have had to have holes that have been created in walls by drains all filled in and the holes in my house filled in!"
Marcus said he found more fly-tips in just a short walk around his neighbourhood too, while the same can be said for fellow frustrated fly-tip finder, Cathie Kemp.
Every day the owner of Sew Something on Wellingborough Road walks past 'hotspots' for dumped bags of rubbish and fly-tipping from her walk to work from her home on Burns Road.
Cathie said it is even more frustrating as it was bin collection day on Monday but by the next morning, there were already bags on the street ready for collection next week.
"It's absolutely vile. It's the same spots over and over again, it's so frustrating," she said.
"And when it gets hot and you walk by these places, they absolutely reek, it's really unpleasant."
Cathie said a recent trip to New York City amazed her as a place with a population of 8.1m people is '100 per cent cleaner' than Northampton, with a population of 225,000.
"I have a store on Wellingborough Road and I want it to be nice and I want people to want to shop in this area but it's not nice," she said.
"It's not quite as bad as the town centre but it won't be long until it is."
Cathie said she understands the issues with prosecuting 'fly-tippers', but urged the council to do more to educate persistent offenders and not tolerate rubbish dumped in the street.
"I've been here for 20 years and it's never been like this, but it's not happened overnight, it's been building for the past two years," she said.
"Unless the council stops the softly-softly approach they won't stop. On Welli' Road, I often see people just walk out of their flats and dump rubbish outside."
A record number of fixed penalty notices for littering and fly-tipping offences were issued in 2018, according to the council.
The council's cabinet member for environment, Councillor Mike Hallam, encouraged people to continue reporting to 'keep the town clean and inform its enforcement activities'.
“Fly-tipping is unacceptable and we take all reports very seriously," he said.
"Fly-tips reported directly to us via our report it tool or our customer services team, are logged and cleared within three working days.
“Each fly-tip is different and some may take slightly longer to clear. If, for example, there are items of concern, such as suspected asbestos, that need specialist services contracted in.
“Before clearing, every fly-tip is searched and where evidence allows, a fixed penalty notice of £400 issued.
"In some cases, offenders will be prosecuted and this can result in an unlimited fine or up to six months imprisonment."
To report a fly-tip, click here or call 0300 330 7000.