Litter scourge will be defeated by fines and bottle return scheme – Yorkshire Post Letters

From: Coun Elizabeth Nash (Lab), Hunslet & Riverside Ward, Leeds City Council.

This clean-up operation on Woodhouse Moor, Leeds, earlier this year highlighted the courage of litter in Yorkshire's cities. Photo: James Hardisty.

I WELCOME Sophie McCandlish’s article on the call for a flytipping crackdown (The Yorkshire Post, August 14), but it is wrong to assume that it is only the countryside which is suffering from this.

Cities are facing the same massive problem in any of its woodlands and open spaces, and even in streets, when the people dumping use the cover of darkness and cannot be seen.

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There are two issues here. Firstly, Leeds offers free disposal of big items at their waste sites for local residents.

This clean-up operation on Woodhouse Moor, Leeds, earlier this year highlighted the courage of litter in Yorkshire's cities. Photo: James Hardisty.

But commercial operators and businesses have to pay both at waste sites, and for the collection of unwanted items from their premises which includes some rogue traders fitting new kitchens and bathrooms.

They are the ones responsible for most of the big dumped items.

Why would residents bother to drive several miles to dump in the countryside when they could drive to their local council waste site which would take the items free of charge?

Your photograph of a huge bag of rubbish is far more than a normal household produces and which has a free collection anyway. The bag has obviously come from a restaurant or café business which has to pay for waste collection.

I totally support the imposition of huge fines and the imposition of a suspended sentence for persistent offenders.

The second issue is the tsunami of litter everywhere with which our cash-strapped councils are struggling to cope.

Having done some voluntary litter-picks, I can testify that over 80 per cent of litter is plastic bottles and metal drinks cans.

Most plastic bottles and cans appear to be thrown from vehicles, as everyone living near to a motorway or a road junction will testify.

It is obvious that some people will not alter their behaviour unless it hits their pockets. When supermarkets had to charge for plastic carrier bags, it cut down the amount of them going to the incinerator or landfill or thrown away by 85 per cent.

If there were a deposit on drinks containers, as there is in Germany, our litter problem would be almost solved.

Undoubtedly, reporting dumped items and litter to Litter Tracker would help. But it would be far more helpful if readers contacted their Member of Parliament to get them to persuade the Government to legislate both for fines and drink container deposits.

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