Fly-tippers told to clean up mess as Walsall Council approves free skips scheme
Plans for free skips on Walsall street corners have been approved as the council leader called for fly-tippers to be forced to clear up their own mess through a court order.
It comes as the council also approved plans for garden waste collections to return to fortnightly rather than every three weeks.
Changes will see 20 free skips installed across the town to make it easier for residents to dispose of their waste.
This comes after it was revealed that fly-tippers cost taxpayers more than £426,000 last year. Under the new plans, opening hours at tips in Leamore and Aldridge will be extended as well as a free collection service for bulky household items. There is also a new incentive for people to report incidents of fly-tipping as cash rewards for reports and successful prosecutions will increase from £100 to £500.
Councillor Louise Harrison, portfolio holder for Clean and Green, said: “This is a fightback against the people with no regard for their surroundings. I’ve had a lot of complements about the trial for free skips and I hope it’s as good as we expect it to be.
“We need people to know about this and improve the education of people on the issue.
“We have zero tolerance towards fly-tipping and this is the start of the fightback.”
But council leader Mike Bird thinks those prosecuted should be forced to work community service cleaning up the mess they made. He said: “There is nowhere to hide for the simple reason that they have a duty of care to make sure their waste is disposed of correctly and if not it is an environmental crime.
“It is a criminal offence and we’ll make sure they pay for it.
“My message to the magistrates is that these people who are convicted of this should be made to come and work with our workers to see what rubbish we have to clear up and the mess that they make.
“I wouldn’t have them collecting bins, I’d have them on the fly-tipping so that they have to pick it up by hand or by shovel - that would teach them a lesson.”
The proposals were backed unanimously by council cabinet members, on Wednesday with many vocally expressing their backing for the scheme.