Test Valley Borough Council is encouraging residents to manage, reduce and reuse their waste following the county council’s closure of Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRC).
Earlier this month, Hampshire County Council made the decision to close HWRCs in line with government advice regarding essential travel, to help stop the spread of coronavirus. TVBC is reminding residents that fly-tipping is a serious crime and is not acceptable under any circumstances, regardless of the closures of their local HWRC.
Gardening, spring cleaning and DIY projects are extremely popular after the government’s instructions to stay at home during the coronavirus pandemic. These projects are a great way to keep busy and be creative, but often produce additional waste that would normally be disposed of at an HWRC. The council has asked that any additional waste produced is stored by residents until they are properly and lawfully able to dispose of it. Residents can also try:
· Home composting
· Using grass cuttings as mulch in plant beds.
· Cut up and compact garden cuttings and clippings as much as possible to reduce volume and store.
· Postpone some of your garden jobs until the coronavirus pandemic is over.
· Cut down cardboard boxes and other recyclable products so more can be placed in your brown recycling bin.
· Store any excess waste from DIY projects and spring cleaning at home until it can be disposed of safely and legally.
Environmental portfolio holder, councillor Alison Johnston, said: “We understand that people are trying to keep busy whilst staying at home, but it is important to dispose of the waste lawfully. We all have our part to play and we must work together in these difficult times.
“The law has not changed. Fly-tipping is crime, and it impacts everyone in the community. Our guidelines here are clear; store your waste until you can dispose of it lawfully. We would encourage everyone to talk to us if they aren’t sure how to dispose of their waste.
“If you are using a waste carrier, remember to check their licence and credentials on the Environment Agency website. It could save you a day in court.”
The council is continuing to investigate all cases of fly-tipping with a view to prosecute if sufficient evidence is found. All of TVBC’s waste collection services, including garden waste collection, are still currently operating despite the pressures of the current pandemic.