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Thetford campaign sees 70 per cent reduction in fly tipping on housing estate

Assuming 'someone' would collect it, adding to existing fly-tip waste, and 'can't be bothered' to go to a recycling centre.

These are just some of the excuses people gave during a clampdown on fly-tipping in Thetford.

Breckland Council says fly tipping incidents at Abbey Estate, Thetford, have fallen by 70 per cent a week following a clamp down and awareness campaign.

The campaign targeted serial fly-tippers
The campaign targeted serial fly-tippers

The clampdown resulted in more than £2,000 in fixed penalty notices being issued since October 2020, and also targeted serial fly tippers.

Prior to March 2020, Abbey Estate, which consists of more than 1,000 properties, had seen on average 100 fly tips per week, equating up to 1.5 tonnes of waste being lifted weekly by council staff.

Following a four month awareness campaign by Breckland Council, using social media, posters and flyers, and through working closely with waste operators, the estate is now reporting fewer than 30 fly tips per week and the amount of waste being fly tipped has also fallen.

People assumed it would be collected.
People assumed it would be collected.

The Breckland Council awareness campaign saw the use of posters and community letters that were issued to every resident in multiple languages.

The campaign also saw residents supplying enforcement officers with information that helped target serial fly tipping offenders.

In February 2021, Breckland Council issued five fixed penalty notices to different addresses within the Abbey Estate for fly tipping incidents.

The incidents include dumped sofas, beds, mattresses and general domestic waste, all of which could have been taken to the local Norfolk County Council recycling centre for free.

Officers reported that excuses given for illegally dumping waste in the community green spaces ranged from assuming someone would collect the waste, that they were adding their own waste to existing fly tips, and one culprit stated he simply could be not be bothered to take it to the recycling centre.

In addition to fly tipping cases, an Abbey Estate resident, who has also regularly allowed their dog to defecate in the area, has also been fined £200, rising to £300 if it is not paid promptly.

Breckland Enforcement Officers will be conducting more high visibility patrols in the areas and working with key communities to spread the message and ensure that as many people as possible are aware of the options and the potential sanctions.

Cllr Gordon Bambridge, executive member for environmental and public protection at Breckland Council, said: "Every Breckland resident deserves to live in a community free from litter and waste.

"Our wildlife, whether in a town park or rural setting, also deserves to be protected from the harmful fly tips recklessly left by selfish individuals.

"We still have some way to go, but a 70 per cent fly tipping reduction and increased public support is certainly an encouraging outcome and I look forward to seeing this success replicated elsewhere in the district."

Breckland residents can report fly tips online at www.breckland.gov.uk/flytip

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