Fly-tippers – does you mum still clean up after you?

SCDC's new innovative sign asks embarrassing questions


'Why are you fly tipping?' – a new SCDC sign which asks fly-tippers if their mum still cleans up after them.

South Cambs District Council is erecting these eye-catching signs which question why people are fly-tipping – including whether their mum still cleans up after them.

They are being put up in fly-tipping hotspots which have been identified by data, as part of the District Council’s continuing S.C.R.A.P. fly-tipping campaign.

The high-vis signs ask ‘Why are you fly-tipping?’ and, in case you’re not sure, provides multiple choice answers –

  • I don’t care about the environment.
  • I want you to prosecute me.
  • My mum still cleans up after me.
  • All of the above.

The new signs are the latest part of SCDC’s campaign to tackle fly-tipping – more than 900 recorded fly-tips are reported in South Cambs every year. Cleaning up can cost the Council (via our taxes) or landowners anything up to £2,000 to clear.

'Why are you fly tipping?' – a new SCDC sign which asks fly-tippers if their mum still cleans up after them.

‘Why are you fly tipping?’ – a new SCDC sign which asks fly-tippers if their mum still cleans up after them.

“It’s worth remembering if your rubbish ends up dumped in the countryside and is traced back to you, you could end up being prosecuted or fined up to £400,” says Cllr Bill Handley, SCDC’s Lead Cabinet Member for Environmental Services and Licensing.

“Most of the fly-tipped waste originates from households, so residents have a big part to play in helping to reduce this environmental problem by making sure whoever takes rubbish away is a registered waste carrier,” he added.

The campaign and new signs also encourage people who spot fly-tipping taking place to call the police on 999 and report an environmental crime in progress.

Anyone who comes across a fly-tip that has already taken place is asked to report it to the Council at www.scambs.gov.uk/report so it can be investigated for evidence and removed.

With around 80 fly-tips investigated and cleared each month within South Cambridgeshire, the Council has already sped up the way it carries out this process.

Cllr Bill Handley continued: “We’ve put a great deal of effort into trying to tackle fly-tipping this year because we know that residents hate it as much as we do.

“These are not the usual ‘No Fly-tipping’ signs – they are eye-catching and deliberately provocative, intended to get a response from the fly-tippers and also likely to stimulate discussion in the wider community.

“We are putting them up in places where there is an issue with fly-tipping to make those dumping waste think twice before doing so.

“There’s simply no excuse for dumping waste in the countryside – it is an eyesore, expensive to clear up and can be dangerous.

“Residents can continue to help us reduce this issue by making sure they use properly licensed waste carriers when getting rid of rubbish.  Two thirds of the waste which ends up being fly-tipped comes from households, so it’s vital you know the final destination for your rubbish.”

Bill ‘stars’ in this video, filmed as one of the signs was being erected in Waterbeach (and showing it wasn’t SCDC vehicles which churned up the verge).  Does the SCDC employee in the background look familiar?  He certainly adds a touch of unintended humour to the video!

The Cambridgeshire-wide S.C.R.A.P. campaign, which all local councils have taken part in during the past few months, asks residents to:

  • Suspect all waste carriers.
  • Check with the Environment Agency the provider taking away waste is registered.
  • Refuse unexpected offers to have waste taken away.
  • Ask what will happen to your waste.
  • Paperwork – which should be obtained via a full receipt.
  • Fly-tipping is an environmental crime and if spotted taking place should be immediately reported to the police by dialling 999.
  • If found afterwards it should be reported online to the Council as quickly as possible so it can be investigated and cleared up.

In both cases, people are being asked to note the exact location, time, what the items are and, if safe to do so, to take photos.

Post created 16th December 2019.