Sunday, 17 January 2021

Clean-up volunteer condemns fly-tipping

THE leader of a task force helping to keep Watlington tidy is encouraging people to ensure their waste is disposed of properly.

Jenny Wilkinson was speaking after a company was ordered to pay more than £7,300 in fines and costs after being prosecuted for fly-tipped waste dumped near Pyrton.

Thi Thanh Hoa Dao, director of Bao An Orientals, of Handsworth, Birmingham, admitted four charges under section 34 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 for failing in her duty of care for commercial waste.

South Oxfordshire District Council, which brought the prosecution, discovered a vanload of cardboard and packaging, some of it addressed to Hoa Dao’s oriental supermarket, in the entrance to a disused warehouse in Pyrton Lane on November 4 last year.

Hoa Dao told council officers that she had paid £25 in cash to some people to have the waste removed from her business but had no more information.

Mrs Wilkinson, who lives in High Street, welcomed the prosecution.

She said: “Fly-tipping is a major problem around here because of the proximity to the motorway. We’re only two miles off the M40.

“The underlying problem is the charges at the tips are perceived as being very high. People don’t actually check how much it is because they just hear it on the grapevine and get the impression that the charges are actually more than they are.

“I have said to the council, ‘Surely clearing up all this fly-tipping is negating the extra revenue you’re getting at the tips?’”

Mrs Wilkinson organises the residents’ task force, which has been meeting since 2018, on the first Sunday of every month to pull up weeds, pick up litter, sweep pavements and roads and cut back hedges.

The volunteers, who wear high-vis vests, often come across fly-tipping and sometimes offenders too.

Mrs Wilkinson said: “I myself was clearing up some rubbish on the approach road to the industrial estate [off Cuxham Road] and a van came along.

“The chap saw us, got out and pretended to look at his wheels and then jumped back in and drove off at a rate of knots.

“If I didn’t have sciatica and I went down to the road that goes to the industrial estate, I would find lots there, I know I would.

“I get reports of it. At the base of Watlington Hill there was some and it’s constant on Pyrton Lane and also a problem on Knightsbridge Lane. It’s usually on the outer roads. These roads are small and empty a lot of the time so these vans don’t have a problem.”

One member of the task force checks the hot spots daily.

Mrs Wilkinson said: “We need to remind people that you really should check who is offering to get rid of rubbish or to take it to the tip. If you just give it to a chap with a van, it’s quite likely to end up as fly-tipping.

“If they see fly-tipping, instead of complaining on Facebook, they need to report it to the district council.”

To report fly-tipping, visit https://bit.ly/37pcqtT

More News:

POLL: Have your say