I can’t for the life of me explain how Kent became fly tipping capital of the south east of England. When I was a lad, I remember my father driving the family down from London to the Straits of Dover, and the wonderful holidays we had. I refuse to believe fly tipping in Kent is the beginning of the end of all that loveliness.
In fact, it is most unlike the gentle people I remember, who welcomed me as a nipper to their spotlessly clean beaches. Why even that invading barbarian Julius Caesar declared in his writings ‘the [Kentish] people are by far the most civilised inhabitants of Britain’, according to Ian Howe in his selection of words and anecdotes ‘Kent Dialect’.
The Worst Fly Tipping in Kent’s Garden of England
Well that’s what they called Kent centuries ago, on account of its abundance of orchards and hop gardens, and farms producing tree-grown fruits, strawberries and hazelnuts. I guess it was inevitable this would lead to new estates in green belts, and tourists flooding what were once secret nooks, and crannies on beaches I explored as teen.
However, a report in Kent Online dispelled that illusion with a jolt on 18 May of this year. It blew the cover on two local authorities who reported a total 4,000 cases of fly tipping in Kent, without a single person prosecuted. Laws are only as good as their enforcement. I have to ask what is going on in Swale, Ashford and other councils in Kent.
Is Lack of Prosecution Causing the Dumping Disaster?
We are fighting a struggle we could lose if we are not careful, to protect our natural habit from desecration by the heartless few. That picture of dumped items is symptomatic of us living on borrowed time, as plundering of the landscape for carbon fuel continues. Fly tipping in Kent is a microcosm of the disaster humanity faces.
I think the environment should be put in the category of our national security. Defence of our resources is just as important as defence abroad. Otherwise what is there to defend? (Robert Redford via Brainy Quotes)
I recently visited a local industrial estate where there was an absolute mountain of household waste as a result of fly tipping estimated to exceed 500 ton, and a cost to the landlord of over £70,000. This has been happening on the same land repeatedly for the last 6 months on a monthly basis. (Jeffrey Avery)
There were a staggering 25,183 recorded fly tipping cases in the Garden of England in the 2019 / 2020 financial year. This is 27.8% of the total in the entire south east, yet a paltry 0.6% of them ended in fixed penalty charges according to the report in Kent Online. But this is not the end of this sorry tale of dumping in Kent …
Only Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge and Malling, and Dartford improved on the national prosecution average of 1.38%. Even Folkestone and Hythe hardly merit mention with a miserable 0.44% overall.
However, Swale and Ashford did bristle somewhat when Kent Online approached them for comment. Swale replied ‘We issued 25 fixed penalty notices in 2019/20 for waste-related offences in Swale’.
Ashford added ‘In 2019/2020 we conducted 55 investigations, sent 34 warning letters, and issued two fines. Fly tipping in Kent is an issue we are committed to tackling and we work diligently to try and catch offenders.’ Is this enough effort do you think?
Is Bureaucracy Contributing to Fly Tipping in Kent
It seems obvious the waste in the pictures is business trash. This means it may not be left at household collection points in terms of the county’s own rules. Official transfer stations do not operate over weekends and generally require appointments. At this stage I have to ask another question. Could we not make it easier for the customer to comply?
However, I have no complaints regarding the quality of service the hard working transfer station officials provide. The system runs when available like well-oiled clockwork. So in this instance I award a full ten stars for quality at this point in the process.
Avery Associates on Standby to Clear Homes and Buildings in Kent
Avery Associates provides a house clearing service in London and the South East of England. Please enquire about our services if you have a home to clear. We are also able to assist at commercial premises, factories, industrial units, farms and smallholdings, gardens and much more.
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Preview Image: Fly Tipping on a Farm Track