Taxpayers faced with £5,000 bill after fly tippers wreck Hackney Marsh
- Credit: Archant
More than 17 tonnes of waste fly tipped on Hackney Marsh last week which cost taxpayers over £5,000 to clear up is believed to have been left by the same culprits who trashed Mabley Green just before Christmas.
The rubbish, which included broken glass, rubble, gas canisters and nails, could have come from home refurbishments and small building sites. It was left on land off Homerton Road last Tuesday.
Clearance and disposal cost the council £5,225, which added to the £10,500 bill to clear rubbish dumped on neighbouring Mabley Green in December.
Investigators at the council believe the two cases are linked and are reviewing CCTV footage, gathering witness statements and sifting the waste for clues to find out where it came from, as well as making DVLA checks on vehicles to try to identify the perpetrators.
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Youngsters and adults from Mabley Green User Group (MGUG) had spent three years transforming the derelict land on the edge of the A12 into a blooming community garden filled with apple and plum trees, herbs, wild garlic, currants and bluebells.
They were devastated to see their hard work destroyed at Christmas when fly-tippers left 49 tonnes of waste that covered an area the size of a football pitch.
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Spokesman for campaign group Save Lea Marshes, Caroline Day, said last week’s incident was an “appalling abuse of the environment” and had “deeply shocked” the group’s members.
“The council has done a good job removing the waste promptly and now should focus on prevention as well as rightly focusing on prosecution of those responsible for this crime,” she said.
“We think natural defences should be used to try to prevent vehicular access to the marshes, including replacing the hedgerow adjacent to Homerton Road that was removed for the Radio 1 Weekend in order to make the type of flytipping that has occurred much harder.”
Tax on landfill in the UK has created a significant illegal flytipping problem as rubbish is dumped in vacant spaces which are not easily monitored.
In a statement, Cllr Feryal Dermici, cabinet member for neighbourhoods, said: “Evidence suggests that the waste came from across London, so we are working with neighbouring boroughs and the police to track down the culprits and bring them to justice.
“People may have employed them to collect their rubbish, thinking they got a good deal by paying cash in hand – but builders, homeowners and landlords must use firms licensed by the Environment Agency to deal with their building waste.”
He continued: “You should always ask for a waste transfer note and make sure you get a proper invoice and receipt.”
HHelp the council’s investigations by contacting the environmental enforcement team at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 8356 4504.