Anger and frustration from residents over fly-tipping incidents across Boston

Boston has become ‘swamped’ with fly-tipping incidents as many frustrated residents say the issue is affecting their day-to-day lives.

One of Ken McIntosh's many photos of fly-tips in Boston. This one was from November.
One of Ken McIntosh's many photos of fly-tips in Boston. This one was from November.

As reported by the Standard earlier this year – Boston borough has the highest number of fly-tipping cases in Lincolnshire – three times that of the larger district of East Lindsey.

Despite efforts made by local authorities and volunteer litter-picking groups to address the issue, the fly-tipping menace persists.

One resident has taken to setting up a dedicated Twitter account to highlight the issue, while another said she was blocked from getting home by an ever-growing pile of discarded waste.

The photo Lyn Johnson took of the fly-tip blocking pavement access to her home in Sydney Street.

Mobility scooter user Lyn Johnson, of Sydney Street, found a fly-tip blocking the pavement access to her home – and had to divert around several other roads to access her home from the other end of the street.

She said residents reported the fly-tip to the council but claims it took over a fortnight for them to remove it, during which time it ‘continued to grow’.

"I had to go right round the block in the teeming rain to get home from church, as it was clear when I went out,” she explained.

"The entire town is such a dump. Never used to be like this. I'm not proud to be a Bostonian anymore.”

Volunteers from Wyberton Wombles pictured after retrieving rubbish dumped in the Marsh Lane area.

Resident Ken McIntosh set up the Twitter account ‘Living in a Dump’ where he regularly posts photos of fly-tips he has found.

“I am less than impressed with Boston Borough Council's efforts to address this problem and am becoming increasingly frustrated with the state of our town,” he told us.

"I have been reporting up to 50 incidents a day to the council via the ‘Fix My Street’ app and feel that I, and many others, are being ignored.”

Ken says he walks around town for a hour each evening and has identified ‘habitual tipping locations’.

“The council have lost any control that they may have had over this problem and now the town is swamped and a culture of fly-tipping with impunity is firmly embedded,” he exclaimed. “This problem also brings with it associated vermin infestations.”

Ken says his Twitter account is “an outlet of frustration” after reporting fly-tips for two years.

Steve Slater founded the Wyberton Wombles litter-picking group – which has volunteers out almost every day in all weathers trying to tackle the problem in and around the town.

He told us: “Recently we went around Union Street, Blue Street and Broadfield Lane and there was a fly-tip on every corner. You could see incidents where residents had obviously moved out of rented accommodation as there were mattresses, old units and all sorts dumped.”

We contacted Boston Borough Council for a comment. A spokesperson told us their records indicate there has been a drop in the number of reported fly-tips in the past year – with 2,989 incidents recorded from October 2021-September 2022, a drop from 3,599 recorded the previous year.

But Steve believes the drop could partly be down to a high number of what he calls ‘historical fly-tips’ – with Wombles retrieving and reporting rubbish in previous years which had been left for some time in remote locations.

"We have tackled a lot of those historical fly-tips in previous years, so I believe that may account for some of the council figures that show there are less reported cases now,” he commented.

Those caught fly-tipping face Fixed Penalty Notice fines of £400 – although some larger scale incidents can result in a maximum penalty of £50,000 upon conviction.

But there may be some hope on the horizon for better enforcement in tackling the issue.

The council is working on a project with the South and East Lincolnshire Councils Partnership which recently put out a tender process inviting businesses to carry out enviro-crime enforcement across Boston, East Lindsey and South Holland

A spokesperson for the Councils Partnership said: “Following the completion of the process, the successful bidder will provide foot patrols and overt CCTV surveillance across the Partnership to tackle littering, dog fouling and fly tipping.

“CCTV surveillance has already proved successful in Boston at fly-tipping hotspots with incidents on a downward trend.”

We asked the council if they believe this will help to address the issue of fly-tipping. A spokesperson said: “We are currently going through the procurement process and anticipate the contract will be up and running early part of next year.”