Coronavirus blamed for slow down in clearing of fly-tipping in Doncaster

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Fly-tipping across Doncaster is rising and the coronavirus pandemic has slowed down the response in getting it cleared, bosses have said.

Doncaster Council’s director of environment, Dan Swaine, said between July and September, there were 3,314 reports of fly-tipping across the borough, up from 2,950 in the previous three months – an increase of around 10 per cent.

Figures also show the council’s 80 per cent target of clearing fly-tipping within seven days of it being reported is down to around 61 per cent.

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Mr Swaine said the fly-tipping clearance teams were working hard to clear the rubbish but this made it harder due to the pandemic.

Doncaster Council's top environment boss Dan SwaineDoncaster Council's top environment boss Dan Swaine
Doncaster Council's top environment boss Dan Swaine

He said that this council service was made harder by social distancing and staff absences due to Covid-19 in the previous months.

The environment boss also said new recruits were in the process of being hired to ‘react quicker’ to reports.

In a recent meeting, councillor Richard Allen Jones, asked if a skip could be placed in a central location again for people to drop their waste in.

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He added that it was effective when used previously in his ward.

Mr Swaine said this would be fed back to other officers for consideration.

“In terms of deploying resources, we do try our best where we can but the reality there has been some impact in terms of people reporting Covid-19 symptoms,” he said.

“This isn’t a service you can do remotely, in some instances some of the material which is dumped doesn’t enable us to remove it as quickly as we’d like because of the proximity to one another and some items it needs more people to move it.

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Performance has gone up though, it’s fair to say along with performance getting better fly-tipping instances have also increased. This is down to people’s behaviour.”

He added: “We have managed to maintain a service to address fly-tipping and that hasn’t been easy.”

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