Campaigner's war on fly tipping
Mark Douglass is a man on a mission - he wants to change habits and behaviour in a bid to clean up Boston.
He launched his own Facebook page to encourage residents to report fly tipping and is gathering a team of supporters to keep an eye out for anyone dumping rubbish.
He is working with the council's fly tipping and littering enforcement team, passing on information posted on his "Flytipping Watch Boston & Local" Facebook site.
He said: "We need the eyes and ears of the community to start positive change. Together we can build a community movement to make life uncomfortable for those who want to litter and fly tip. Those who want to dump rubbish illegally need to be looking over their shoulders and acting in fear of getting caught."
Cllr David Brown, Boston Borough Council's portfolio holder for waste services, said: "This is exactly the kind of community-spirited action I applaud. It's commendable that Mr Douglass is rallying others to keep a watch for those who despoil. But it does come with a warning. Mark has already advised that people should not sort through fly-tipped rubbish to look for evidence leading to those responsible. He has correctly warned that there may be a health risk and it may compromise a successful prosecution. Finding evidence to penalise those who dump rubbish should be left to the council. Our enforcement officers know the rules to follow in order that fly tippers can be legally and lawfully dealt with."
Cllr Brown emphasised that anyone seeing a fly tip, or seeing anyone in the process of dumping rubbish, should report it with as much information as possible - a clear picture of the rubbish, a wider picture showing the site and precise details of the location. If the fly tipper is seen do not confront them as you may put yourself at risk, but do get a picture if you can and provide a description of those responsible and details of any vehicle being used. This is essential for a successful prosecution.
The council's Fly Swat team will quickly respond to any reports of fly tipping in the borough. Littering and fly tipping can be reported directly to the council.
The council will take action against those who litter. To report a littering offence that you have witnessed go to https://bit.ly/2QbtJZD
Print the form, fill it out and post it to the council.
If you are reporting a fly tip - you can fill out an online form at https://bit.ly/2QBrbn7 or send details by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org Please include full location details and photos if available.
Cllr Brown said: "It amazes me that some would risk a very substantial fine rather than pay £21 to have their bulky waste items collected and disposed of properly.
"Amazingly some people will struggle heavy loads into their car and then drive out into the countryside to dump them in a dyke, in bushes or leave them in a layby. They could have just driven them to the tip in Bittern Way and disposed of them for free and without the risk of a big fine.
"For those who don't want to, or cannot lift their waste into their car, or do not have transport, the council will collect for a small charge; £21 or a £400 fine? It's got to be worth it."
Cllr Brown also sounded a warning for the unwary. "Your rubbish means YOUR rubbish - it's your responsibility and that doesn't change when you hire someone to take it away for you. If they dispose of it illegally it remains your responsibility. We have had cases where someone has hired a man with a van to take their rubbish away, the van man has fly tipped it and we have traced him and fined him. If we find evidence leading us back to the householder they can be prosecuted.
"You can safeguard against this by ensuring the person you are paying has a waste carrier's licence. This is your assurance, and protection, that you are doing the right thing."
You can check in advance if the person you are thinking of hiring has a waste carriers' licence at https://bit.ly/1YlHCOD or ask to see their waste carriers' licence before agreeing to hire them.