Building firm cleans up its fly-tipped waste after drone footage goes viral

A HAMPSHIRE company has cleaned up its waste after it was named and shamed by an app for reporting fly-tipping.

Monday, 3rd February 2020, 2:53 pm
Updated Tuesday, 4th February 2020, 6:27 pm

Martin Montague, a businessman from the Meon Valley, decided to get his hands dirty investigating the mess after a driver used his app ClearWaste, which allows people to report fly-tipping, on Saturday.

The driver turned to the service after they suffered a punctured tyre from driving through the rubbish, which included gravel, foam, broken glass, and several wheelbarrows spread along more than 100ft of Cott Street, Swanmore.

Martin said: ‘A puncture is dangerous at the best of time, but in a rural community you’re blocking other vehicles if you need to pull over.

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Builder's waste dumped in Cott Street in Swanmore. Picture: Gary McCulloch

‘When I visited the site, I was appalled by the amount of waste there was.

‘I spoke to an officer at the council, and they said it would have taken at least three refuse trucks to clean away all the waste.’

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But Martin was able to name and shame the company using his drone – and an invoice from a Hampshire building firm found amongst the rubbish.

Builder's waste dumped in Cott Street in Swanmore. Picture: Gary McCulloch

The 44-year-old said: ‘The video of the fly-tipping site has had a quarter of a million views across Facebook.

‘I’m not afraid to name and shame people.’

The company claimed they ‘could have checked better’ when it came to contracting another firm to deal with their waste, according Martin.

The building company, who asked for anonymity in return for cleaning up the rubbish, sent out its staff to the rural lane on Sunday evening, with it taking them more than six hours to clean up the mess, according to Martin.

He said: ‘In the past, we had had a few people come out to clean their waste, but it’s a big deal to get a company to clean up its waste.

‘This is a saving of thousands of pounds for the tax payer.

‘The biggest problem we face is consumer awareness – people think it’s okay to pay cash in hand for anyone to take waste away.’

The businessman, who spent £250,000 of his own money to create the app, is now planning to launch a website to make it easier for people to use licensed waste disposal firms later in the year.

He said: ‘We are working towards launching a price comparison website.

‘It will feature firms with a Tier Two Waster Carrier Licence issued by the government and have been vetted by trading standards.’