GUEST COLUMN: Time to take a stand against fly-tipping, by Coun Sonya Ward

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An issue which is often raised with councillors across the district is fly tipping. 
Fly tipping is the illegal dumping of rubbish, including building and business waste and household rubbish.
When rubbish is dumped on public or private land, it becomes the responsibility of the property owner to clean it up. 
Last year, fly-tipping on public land in Mansfield cost almost £65,000 to remove. That’s money from our council tax bills that could instead be spent on providing much needed services. 
When rubbish is dumped on private land, it becomes the responsibility of the landowner to pay for removal, which seems very unfair to the people affected.
The issue was recently brought to my attention again by a local teenager Erin, who sent me photographs of household rubbish spilling out of a number of black plastic bags – an unpleasant sight she was greeted with when walking her younger brother to school down a local lane. 
I often hear young people being blamed for anti-social behaviour, but here was an example of a young person acting to address the anti-social behaviour of adults. 
I asked Erin if she’d like to contribute to this column, and she said: “Fly-tipping or just generally dumping rubbish on a street is horrible because it makes the place seem dirty and not very nice at all, even if it’s actually a really great place,” 
And I think she speaks for most residents. 
Fly-tipping is inconsiderate, ugly and environmentally unfriendly as well as expensive.
We can all try to tackle this blight on our district. 
If someone offers to take waste to the tip for you, it is legally your responsibility to ensure they are a registered waste carrier.
Some waste carriers are taking rubbish and dumping it round the corner, rather than taking it to the tip. 
If this is your rubbish, even if you haven’t dumped it there yourself, you can be fined up to £50,000 or face up to 12 months imprisonment. 
To avoid this it’s vital that you ask to see their waste carrier licence and ask for a 
receipt.
If you spot someone fly-tipping, it’s advisable not to approach them directly, but to note down a description of the person, the time and date, and their vehicle details. 
You can let the council know about dumped rubbish via the website or by calling them on 01623 463463. 
Together we can make 
Mansfield and district cleaner.

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