Avoid making dumping ground of countryside, plead campaigners

In some cases, there can be changes in local authority bin collection days at Christmas Picture: PE

In some cases, there can be changes in local authority bin collection days at Christmas Picture: PETER BYRNE/PA WIRE - Credit: PA

Campaigners have urged the public to dispose of rubbish responsibly at Christmas – a time of year when homes accumulate increased amounts of waste.

The plea comes as councils revealed incidents of fly-tipping involving Christmas decorations and trappings last year.

The Country Land and Business Association (CLA) represents about 30,000 farmers, landowners and rural businesses.

Cath Crowther, director of the eastern region office, covering Suffolk, said: "Christmas is a time for celebration and for spending time with friends and family.

"However, it is also a time when households can have an increased amount of waste with boxes, old and broken toys and appliances, and an increase in general waste.

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"In some cases, there can be changes in local authority bin collection days too, which can lead to an accumulation of waste.

"We want people to avoid making the countryside a dumping ground, and urge everyone to dispose of their rubbish responsibly by checking when their local recycling centre is open and taking it there."

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Government statistics showed there were more than a million fly-tipping incidents in 2018/19 on public land - nearly two-thirds involving household waste.

A total of 340 incidents were recorded in Suffolk Coastal and 1,331 in Waveney (now East Suffolk Council); 869 in Ipswich; 256 in Babergh and 317 in Mid Suffolk (now Babergh and Mid Suffolk Council); 271 in Forest Heath and 296 in St Edmundsbury (now West Suffolk Council).

Of the councils to hold information and respond to a request for incidents of Christmas related fly-tipping, West Suffolk Council found one report of a Christmas tree found dumped in Bury St Edmunds on January 23, while Babergh and Mid Suffolk Council reported a chopped-up tree found near 20 tins of paint in a Lavenham ditch on January 21.

The CLA said statistics did not include incidents of fly-tipping on private land - which landowners have to clear at personal cost.

The association recommends using a waste removal service, that can provide evidence of a Waste Carriers Licence, for large amounts of rubbish.

In 2020, the CLA has said it will continue to call for greater penalties for fly-tipping, and for changes to a system which penalises private landowners for waste illegally dumped on their land.

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