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Campaign calls for better signage and community engagement to address fly-tipping and litter

A community group has relaunched its campaign to Clean Up Cliftonville after seeing what they call an inadequate response to the blight of litter and fly-tipping on their streets – but the council insists it is proud of its refuse and street cleaning teams.

Friends of Cliftonville Coastline, based near Margate, Kent, launched the #CleanUpCliftonville campaign in February 2020 following an investigation by our sister website, KentLive.

They urged residents and visitors to upload pictures of fly-tipping, litter and dog fouling to social media and report incidents to Thanet District Council to increase pressure on the council to act.

However, 10 months on, the group’s spokesman who lives in Cliftonville, says the situation has become much, much worse.

She said: “Following our campaign launch the council promised to employ new street cleaning operatives. They didn’t. No other workable solutions have been implemented. Our lovely heritage coast continues to be blighted by fly-tipping, litter and dog fouling.”

Disgusting pictures taken on Boxing Day showcase what the campaign group describes as a waste strategy which is “unfit for purpose”

Piles and piles of household waste, fly-tipped rubbish and countless bags of wrapping paper were dumped on all corners of Cliftonville’s streets – and following a large storm on December 26, Friends of Cliftonville Coastline fears much of that waste ended up blowing into the sea and along with our protected marine environment and coastline.

Even after the bins were collected on December 27, litter and fly-tipped items such as dumped furniture were left scattered across the pavements.

The campaign group has called for Thanet District Council to implement “comprehensive solutions” to deal with fly-tipping, litter and dog fouling, including:

  • Better signage, community engagement and education. Particularly concerning the perils of pollution to wildlife.
  • Free or subsidised collection services for impoverished residents and/or free regular community collections.
  • The creation of a swap shop, to ensure that usable items are offered to those in need and reused by the community, rather than ending up in landfill.
  • A recycling service that is fit for purpose.
  • Targeted enforcement and bigger fines aimed at businesses and slum landlords who habitually fly-tip and get away with it.
  • Better communication with the community so that residents know what they should do, particularly when they first move into the area.
  • A dedicated dog poo officer, to target and fine repeat offenders at known locations.
  • A dedicated alleys officer to engage with local communities who back on to alleyway grot spots, with a strategy to help them adopt and look after them to create usable community spaces.

Thanet District Council says it collected 27 tonnes more waste in Cliftonville this festive period compared to in 2019 – and say they are working hard to address issues of street cleanliness and waste collection in the area.

A spokesman added: “In recent months, we’ve worked hard to ensure that many residents in Cliftonville West have new household bins or seagull proof bags and to address issues around the misuse of some of the large bins in the area.

“Over the Christmas period, household waste has been collected as scheduled in Cliftonville West. We know that waste volumes at Christmas are always higher than usual and anticipate having to collect more on our rounds, however, this year we have seen an increase in seasonal waste left on the streets in some areas.

“This then requires additional cleansing resources to be deployed and has a knock-on impact for cleansing services in other areas of the district. It is important that residents act responsibly when storing and presenting waste for collection. The properties in Cliftonville West either receive weekly household waste collections or have access to communal bins which are emptied twice per day.

Unfortunately, despite clear signage, communication with residents and enforcement action, the communal bins continue to be misused or filled by people who are not entitled to use them. This reduces waste capacity for residents and is a greater problem at Christmas due to the increased volume of waste.

“While there is no recycling service in this area as standard, residents can opt into the Neighbourhood Recycling Scheme. The weekly collection service in Cliftonville West compares with the fortnightly collection service in most areas of the district where recycling is standard. We are proud of both the refuse and street cleansing teams who have worked hard right through the Christmas period to collect the higher quantities of household and street waste. We would like to thank the vast majority of residents for presenting their waste responsibly and we will continue to work hard to clear remaining seasonal waste over the coming days.”

 

Article originally appeared on In your area.

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