After the first Covid lockdown restrictions were lifted, MBC saw a massive 250% increase in roadside littering. In 2020 Council teams removed over 1950 tons of waste which had been illegally disposed on the highways across the borough. Additionally at the start of every new year sees a 20% rise in waste including household waste, fly-tipping and illegal carriers offering to remove it.
To combat the problem MBC has introduced the #CleanUpMaidstone campaign encouraging everyone to play their part and help eliminate litter now and for future generations.
#CleanUpMaidstone reminds residents and businesses across the borough that waste is everyone’s problem and that we all have a role to play in solving it. Using parodies of popular TV programmes, the new MBC campaign shows littering is wrong, that it is an offence to litter and if caught people will be fined. It also illustrates how everyday irresponsible waste disposal can impact the environment and how we live.
Communities, Housing and Environment Committee Deputy Chair Cllr Simon Webb said:
We should all have a pride in where we live and work as waste is very much a shared problem. I would ask everyone to play their part in making the borough a better place for all. This not just about simply asking people to pick up litter, but more about saying we want to work with our communities and change the way they behave and think about littering as a whole. It is the responsibility of us all to look after where we live.
The Waste Crime and Street Cleansing teams have joined forces to tackle the issue of illegally disposed waste, fly-tipping and littering with the very clear message that littering is an offence and that the Council has a zero tolerance policy and will fine anyone who is caught committing an offence.
The MBC team comprises of 34 people who work tirelessly to clean the streets, retrieve the litter and clear the roads of fly-tipping across the borough.
Council officers successfully applied 265 enforcement actions between 1 January 2020 and 31 September 2021 for waste offences; 45 vehicles were also seized by the team during the same 18 months period and is now trialling new camera technology to help identify more people littering from their vehicles.
MBC is also reminding people that they have a duty of care when they are disposing of their rubbish and asking that they ensure that when they are using contractors to remove waste that they have the correct waste carriers licence which can be checked via the government website: www.gov.uk/guidance/access-the-public-register-for-environmental-information
Cllr Webb added:
The MBC teams work hard to combat the issues of waste across the borough, but the simple fact is that people need to take responsibility for their actions too. The Council will not tolerate those who continue to carry out these offences and they need to realise the impact of littering, fly-tipping and other crimes have on our urban and rural environments. Isn’t it time we all worked together and help to #CleanUpMaidstone?
Anyone who would like to know more about MBC environmental services available can sign up for the new ‘Stay Connected’ service and receive news and updates via email. The ‘Environmental Services’ newsletter provides regular updates, information and news about waste disposal, recycling, waste crime, street cleaning, parks maintenance, and gardening tips. To sign up for the new service simply register an email address on the pop up that will appear on the Maidstone.gov.uk website or click: https://maidstone.gov.uk/StayConnected