Northampton 'cleansed' after 'embarrassing' litter problem

Image caption,
People took to Twitter to complain about overflowing bins and uncut grass in the town

A town with an "embarrassing" litter problem has cleared more than 5,400 fly-tips in three months.

A new company took over environmental services in Northampton in June, tasked with tackling a waste backlog.

The town's Conservative-run borough council said local residents had reported "positive changes" after 40 tonnes of litter were cleared.

But a Labour councillor said the authority was yet to "get to grips with the epidemic of fly-tipping".

On 4 June, Veolia began a new contract to look after recycling, waste collections, street cleaning and grass cutting for 10 years.

Image source, AFP
Image caption,
Campaigners and a local Labour group said the dumping of bulky items such as mattresses was still a problem

People in Northampton had been complaining on Twitter about full dog waste bins, rubbish-strewn parks and uncut grass verges.

At the time, Mike Hallam, Conservative cabinet member for environment, said the problem was "an embarrassment" and the town was let down by the previous supplier, Amey, during its final months.

A spokesman for Amey said: "We worked hard to provide a high quality service throughout the duration of the contract."

Mr Hallam said he was pleased with Veolia's first 90 days, which involved a "deep-cleansing programme".

He said: "It is great to see residents feeding back about the positive changes they can already see. There is still much to do, however."

Image source, Enam Haque
Image caption,
Northampton Borough Council said more than 5,400 fly-tips had been cleared in three months

Labour councillor Enam Haque, shadow environment portfolio holder, said: "Some of the residential areas of the town have not been cleaned and those that have are quickly returning to the unacceptable state they were in before.

"I have yet to see the council get to grips with the epidemic of fly-tipping."

Emma Heath, who set up the Northampton's Rubbish campaign on Twitter, said: "On the whole a decent job - let's hope it keeps at this level.

"I think landlords and management agencies need to take more responsibility to help tenants clear large items."

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