SPECIAL REPORT: Northampton does not need a negative name and shame flytipping campaign

The town's environment chief says Northampton needs a positive campaign aimed at tackling fly-tippers - because "people march for peace".
The town's environment chief says Northampton needs a positive campaign aimed at tackling fly-tippers - because "people march for peace".

Moves are afoot to launch a strategy against fly-tipping in Northampton – but the town’s environment chief says the hearts and minds of the trash tippers won’t be changed through a name and shame campaign.

Speaking to the Chron this week, Councillor Mike Hallam said the 90-day deep clean had drawn even greater attention to the town’s deep-seated fly-tipping problem.

Councillor Mike Hallam says he is pleased with the performance of Veolia so far.

Councillor Mike Hallam says he is pleased with the performance of Veolia so far.

The cabinet member for the environment said the authority would soon launch a major campaign to change the mindset of those willing to dump items.

But he also appears to have drawn inspiration from the recent “love where you live” protest held in the town centre last month – which saw Northampton residents urge the council to adopt a formal strategy to tackle littering.

He said: “I believe we should be taking a positive spin on things in any campaign.

“I don’t want to just be telling people not to fly-tip, I want to do a ‘love where you live’-type campaign.

“But I want it to be focused on super local areas, such as ‘love where you live: The Mounts’, or ‘love where you live: Duston’. That way we can really focus energy in small areas by getting landlords on board and the university.

“I just think, people don’t march against war, they march for peace.”

Often criticism of the town’s fly-tipping problem is levelled at the way it is picked up by council contractors once it has been reported.

But Councillor Hallam says Veolia has drastically upped the amount of fly-tipping incidents it is responding to – some 5,475 since taking over on June 4.

But the environment chief said certain hotspots are simply seeing detritus reappear almost as soon as it is collected.

He said: “People say to me they are reporting fly-tipping online and then, a couple of hours later, they are impressed that someone has come to pick it up.

“But then they wait two more hours and a mattress has reappeared there.”

Councillor Hallam conceded more must be done to make people aware of how to put out their recycling in areas that do not have wheelie bins.

Households in those places, such as the Mounts, can put all their recycling in a single clear sack, rather than multiple, un-lidded containers used under the previous contractor.