Cleansing spree begins as council and Veolia launch the Big Autumn Tidy

We have launched a 12-week, targeted cleaning spree of the Borough to enhance the street scene of our soon to be City.

Veolia Crews working in Milton to deep clean the streets

The ‘Big Autumn Tidy’ kicked off last week and will run for 12 weeks until 31 January. 

The scheme has been launched following a number of meetings with council officers and ward Councillors, which considered feedback from residents to identify hotspots for fly-tipping and litter. The scheme is supported by the council’s waste contractor, Veolia, who will be carrying out the project on the council’s behalf.

Four additional dedicated cleansing teams are now out every day across the Borough, which will be increased to six over the next few days, to carry out enhanced cleansing activities alongside the usual garden, waste and recycling collections.

The crews will be providing additional visibility across the Borough removing graffiti, clearing fly tips and collecting evidence, engaging with local residents, providing detailed reports to the council and sending enforcement letters where necessary.

Since the Covid 19 pandemic, the council has picked up an extra 10% of waste from residents at a cost of over £1 million, with a large increase in the number of fly-tips reported - over 50% in some wards compared to the previous years. This highlights the need for residents to dispose of their rubbish correctly either by booking a bulky waste collection or disposing of it free of charge at one of the council’s two recycling centres at Leigh Marsh or Stock Road.

Residents caught fly-tipping may be prosecuted by the council, with teams currently working in the Borough to identify offenders. A court can impose a fine of up to £50,000, or 12-months imprisonment for a conviction.

Cllr Martin Terry, cabinet member for public protection, praised the scheme. He said: “Veolia staff have worked incredibly hard during an extremely difficult period for waste and recycling services nationally. Whilst many authorities across England took the decision to slimline their services throughout the pandemic, Veolia have committed to providing the continued service in these unprecedented times, and for that I would like to thank the crews.

“This administration is committed to improving the street scene and our local neighbourhoods, and part of that work includes keeping our streets clean and tidy. This project will hopefully provide a springboard for us as we make the transition to a city. Whilst this work will provide additional support, we really need our residents and businesses to play their part by recycling their waste and taking pride in our new City."

Chris Smiles, regional manager at Veolia, said: “We are delighted to be part of Southend-on-Sea Borough Council’s Big Autumn Tidy campaign. While our street cleansing teams already work extremely hard to keep Southend clean and litter-free, these additional resources will allow us to go the extra mile by spending more time investigating fly-tips as well as engaging with residents to ensure a long-term improvement of the town's cleanliness. Over the next three months, residents will see our crews deep cleaning each and every street in the Borough, making their neighbourhood a clean and enjoyable place to live.

“To maintain momentum for the campaign and sustain the improvement over time, there are simple steps we are asking residents to take. These include always using a bin to dispose of their rubbish on the go, as well as booking a bulky waste collection or visiting the household waste and recycling centres to dispose of items we cannot collect from the kerbside.”

Residents can continue to report incidents of fly-tipping, litter, graffiti and missed collections via MySouthend and book a paid for bulky waste collection service at www.southend.gov.uk/bulkywaste 

Published: 11th November 2021

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