Play your part and make the Big Autumn Tidy even bigger

Nearly 50 tonnes of rubbish have been cleared from across the Borough as part of our Big Autumn Tidy, as the targeted cleaning campaign supports local communities prepare for a greener future.

Veolia Crews working in Milton to deep clean the streets

Since the 12-week project was launched at the beginning of November, 49.04 tonnes of rubbish have been collected from the 102 streets visited so far, along with 387 bulky waste items removed and 707 leaflet and advice letters handed out

The project was developed in response to feedback from residents and local ward Councillors. Six additional dedicated cleansing teams have been out every day, providing additional visibility, removing graffiti, clearing fly-tips and collecting evidence, engaging with local residents, and sending enforcement letters where necessary. This is in addition to the usual recycling, garden, and waste collections and will run until Monday 31 January 2022. Whilst the results are positive, it also highlights why the council has had to invest public funds into this project to clear up various areas of the town.

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 reflects national trends and highlights the need for residents and businesses to dispose of their rubbish correctly, either by presenting on their correct collection day, booking in a bulky waste collection for larger items or disposing of items free of charge at one of the council’s two recycling centres at Leigh Marshes or Stock Road.

Cllr Martin Terry, cabinet member for public protection, welcomed the impressive figures, but highlighted the fact the figures show how important it is for residents and businesses alike, to dispose of their rubbish appropriately. He said: “I am of course very pleased to see that the project has been such a success to date, with the crews clearing an enormous amount of rubbish from our streets whilst carrying out deep cleansing at these locations.

“This added investment from the council has made a real difference to the cleanliness of the streets visited so far, and I look forward to seeing how the project progresses as it reaches other areas across the town. I would urge residents and businesses to look at these figures and make the necessary changes to their habits so that we can all enjoy a clean town. I would like to particularly thank residents and businesses in areas where we have not had to clear any rubbish, who clearly value their neighbourhoods and play an important role in keeping them clean and tidy.

“However, the startling figures also emphasise why we need our communities to get on board and help us keep our soon-to-be City clean and tidy. We have so far issued 35 warnings and notices to residents and businesses about correctly disposing of their rubbish and recycling, highlighting the need for this project.”

Chris Smiles, regional manager for Veolia, added: “Even during the pandemic, Southend-on-Sea Borough Council chose to invest in services that mean the most to residents. As a result, Veolia has been able to deploy additional dedicated cleansing teams to support the Big Autumn Tidy. That means every day we have crews right across the Borough litter picking, removing graffiti and clearing fly tips, with the resource needed to deep clean as they go.

“That investment by the Council has seen early results already and I would like to thank residents for the part they've played, but now we must maintain momentum and continue to show pride in where we live and work.”

Residents or businesses 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.

Residents can continue to report incidents of fly-tipping, litter, graffiti and missed collections via MySouthend and book a paid for bulky waste collection online.

For more information on the Big Autumn Tidy, how to present recycling and waste and book in collections please visit our Big Autumn Tidy and Recycling pages.

Published: 23rd December 2021

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