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Fly-tipping - a growing problem

By Amanda McCaw on Monday 19th June, 2017
Fly-tipping is defined as 'the illegal deposit of any waste onto land that does not have a licence to accept it'. The problem ranges from a bag of household rubbish being dumped in a layby, to truckloads of waste being disposed of on either private or council owned land. It?s become a massive problem. At worst, it can be hazardous ? to individuals, wildlife and the environment. At best, it?s unattractive and expensive to deal with. Fly-tipping is a criminal offence, and the courts have powers that range from on-the-spot fines of up to £400, to imprisonment. But 'professional' fly-tippers who take payment for collecting refuse, then dump it illegally, are hard to identify, arrest and prosecute. Every year at Streetwise we get over 800 calls from members of the public reporting fly-tipping, and we clear over 300 tons of waste. But the problem keeps on growing and costs the economy millions of pounds a year. So, as a member of the public, what can you do to help?
  • Always ensure that anyone who is removing waste for you is a registered waste carrier. You can ask to see their certificate, or check with the Environment Agency
  • Make responsible arrangements for the removal/disposal of your own waste:
    • Use official roadside collections
    • Use your local recycling centres
    • Contact your local authority to find out if they have a bulky waste collection service for larger items such as furniture and kitchen appliances
    • Contact Streetwise Environmental - we provide a waste collection service
  • If you witness fly-tipping, make a note of the time and place, and a vehicle registration number if possible, and report it to your local authority, the Environment Agency or Streetwise Environmental. DON'T put yourself in danger by challenging the fly-tippers, or investigating the waste which might be dangerous in content.
  • Business owners should have a contract with a registered waste carrier, or they can dispose of business waste at a site that is licensed to take commercial waste. There will be a fee.
What should you do if somebody fly-tips on your own land? Unfortunately, the local authority is not obliged to dispose of waste dumped on private land. If you become the victim of fly-tipping:
  • Report the incident to your local authority or the Environment Agency. They should be able to give you advice on how to remove the waste.
  • Check that anyone you contract to remove the waste has a licence.
  • Look at ways of making it more difficult for fly-tippers to access your land.
Useful contacts:
  • Enter your postcode at: www.gov.uk/report-flytipping to be directed to the appropriate department of your local authority
  • Environment Agency: 03708 506506
  • Streetwise Environmental: 0115 914 8408
John Scott-Lee, Managing Director

GWR benches make a comeback

By Amanda McCaw on Monday 8th May, 2017
Lovers of the iconic Great Western Railway bench will be delighted to hear that it's still in production. The Great Western Railway (GWR) was founded in 1833 and linked London with the south west, the Midlands and Wales. It was affectionately known as 'God's Wonderful Railway', the 'Great Way Round', and also the 'Holiday Line' serving as it did resorts such as Torquay, Minehead and St Ives. The original cast iron and wooden GWR benches can still be seen at some railway stations. But an English company is now producing reproduction benches. We're incredibly pleased to announce that Streetwise Environmental has partnered with GWR Benches Ltd. We are the sole distributors of the reproduction benches for all Local Authorities and Parish Councils in the UK. We'll be supplying and installing these strong, functional and stylish benches for everyone to enjoy in public gardens and open spaces, cafes and pubs, parks, communal areas and social activity spaces all over the country. As well as the original design benches that feature the well-known GWR button design dating from 1934, and the earlier scroll pattern in use from 1904, we can provide a customised design incorporating elements such as a company logo, branding, or a commemoration. We can provide castings only or completed benches in painted pine or natural hardwood seating which are made to a high level of craftsmanship. There is also a 'junior' bench featuring cast iron ends with traditional 1934 deco motif and wooden painted bench timbers. Partnering with GWR Benches Ltd has enabled us to deliver these to our customers at the best possible price, whilst still retaining the quality workmanship which they stand for. - Choice of design - original, or bespoke - Choice of long lasting hard wood seating or painted softwood. - 10 year warranty on cast iron ends - Your own colour schemes - Very low maintenance - Insurance guarantee - Strong, heavy and secure - 100% British made We are committed to distributing these in the most economical way and the customer service which we provide is at the heart of everything that we do. For more information, please contact Emily Neary on 0115 9148408 or eneary@streetwiseenvironmental.co.uk John Scott-Lee, Managing Director

Proud to be Hedgehog Heroes

By Amanda McCaw on Thursday 30th March, 2017
We're supporting Hedgehog Awareness Week, and hedgehogs generally, by making sure our operatives check for hedgehogs before using mowers, strimmers, and other machinery that threatens this protected species. Hedgehog Awareness Week runs from 30th April to 6th May '17. Organised by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society it highlights the problems hedgehogs face and how they can be helped. The British hedgehog population is in serious decline. Research indicates that populations have fallen by 30% in towns, and 50% in the country, since the turn of the century. So how can we all help? The British Hedgehog Preservation Society says that the best way of helping hedgehogs is to help them avoid man-made hazards, and providing them with suitable places to nest. Hedgehogs love slugs, beetles and caterpillers, and they do no harm, so if you're lucky enough to have a hedgehog population in your garden, do your best to look after them, and prevent them from harm. - Avoid using slug pellets which will poison your hedgehog visitors. Or if you can't accept the slugs, place pellets in a spot inaccessible to hedgehogs, and remove dead slugs daily. - Use other garden pesticides as sparingly as possible. - Provide hedgehogs with an exit from garden ponds by creating sloping slipways around the edge of the water. Cover swimming pools at night time, and place floats near the side for hedgehogs to clamber onto. - Take care when tidying piles of leaves and other garden debris that you're not disturbing a hedgehog nest. - Hedgehogs can get their heads stuck in tins and pots put out in the rubbish. Keep refuse bags off the ground so they can't get in! - Keep outbuildings, garages and greenhouses closed at night so hedgehogs don't become trapped. - Make sure there's an access hole in fences and walls allowing hedgehogs to move freely garden to garden. - Cover drains and deep holes - Keep netting at a safe height to prevent hedgehogs becoming tangled and trapped. - Make sure your dog is hedgehog friendly, or kept under control! And don't worry ? hedgehog fleas are specific to hedgehogs and won't infest your pets. - A suitable hedgehog diet includes hedgehog food, meaty cat or dog food or cat biscuits. They need plenty of water, NOT cow's milk. - Hedgehogs hibernation period is roughly November to March. It's important to check there are no nests under garden bonfires, or to move rubbish to a new site before setting fire to it. To find out more about Hedgehog Awareness Week, how you can get involved, and for masses of hedgehog-related information, visit the British Hedgehog Preservation Society's website. The Streetwise Team