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Rubbish: Out and about

Some of you may be aware that I organise a monthly litter pick – first Saturday of the month, 11 – 12 – the picture shows the amount of rubbish collected from roughly a half mile stretch from Leicester Road, along the A47 by 4 people yesterday.   I will not bore you with an itemised list of said pickings – broadly speaking it is people who seem to think the potential horror of an untidy car means that the remnants of in transit food and drink consumption need to be hurled onto our verges.  This month, I particularly noted the person who thoughtfully collected their rubbish into one polythene bag before biffing it, only for it to be flail mowed thus scattering it confetti esque celebrating an uncomfortable marriage between mankind and mother nature.

Fun fact for a Sunday: even if a receipt found in discarded kerb side rubbish is presented to the DVLA indicating the registration plate of a car that has been to a drive through, this is, apparently, insufficient evidence to issue a fixed penalty notice for littering.  The reason is that the receipt is not considered sufficient evidence that it was the registered car owner who threw the rubbish.    Funny ‘ol world: I am fairly sure that this logic is not applied to speeding tickets issued from camera evidence or indeed issued parking tickets: registration plate pinged – tough luck – you’re the registered owner – end of.    I am picking up this anomaly with our MP – I know Alicia feels equal ire regarding the litter bugs. (You can add your own ‘ger’ to that last word!)

Fly tipping is also the source of considerable ire – understandably a) it is a grim blot on our countryside and b) it is our council tax that funds the clearance.  Some people mentioned this to me whilst our RCC CA sites, as a result of the pandemic, operated a reduced service and introduced a temporary booking system – the fly tipping was clearly a result of this and so therefore the blame lay at the Council’s doorstep.  This concerns me greatly as it excuses the individual who has broken the law.  It also misses the point that currently our CA sites do not take commercial rubbish – it is ‘Civic Amenity’- the clue is in the title – the majority of the fly tipping is clearly commercial, including blatant house clearance jobs.  One thing we can all do if we are not clearing our own bulkier rubbish: if we pay someone to do it, please ask to see their licence.  No licence, no deal – if the service offer is cheap / too good to be true then it is unlikely to involve the legal disposal of the rubbish.    It is also worth noting that RCC run a bulky waste collection service – easy to book and relatively inexpensive at £35 for up to 4 items.  This automatically includes the priceless assurance that your rubbish will be dealt with legally.

For a handy summary of the services currently offered: https://www.rutland.gov.uk/my-services/waste-and-recycling/waste-services-charges-and-policies/

I will finish with reference to the splendid waste hierarchy: we are producing too much waste; our ideal situation is to reduce, re – use, recycle – in that order.  I will keep you up -dated on the progress with our emergent new waste strategy – thank you to those of you who took part in the consultation.  Without wishing to unwrap the present early: what is really clear, however, is that the successful implementation of this is very much down to us: we produce the waste – if we can get a handle on that (currently the average household in Rutland produces more rubbish than the national average household) then we really will be making a massive difference.

Councillor Lucy Stephenson

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