Saturday, September 04, 2010

Fly-tipping is a huge cost to BW

K&A fly-tippers are a huge financial drain on British Waterways'  funds

People from towns and villages near the K&A Canal are using the BW canalside boaters' rubbish compounds as convenient dumping grounds for everything from everyday household rubbish to unwanted electrical appliances, batteries and even waste engine oil - sometimes causing the compounds to overflow leaving the area around them an unsightly and potententially health threatening mess.

Great Bedwyn Wharf                                                                 Picture by Bob Naylor
The problem is particularly bad at Bathampton,
All Cannings and Great Bedwyn.

At Great Bedwyn so much rubbish was strewn around the compound recently that a large skip had to be brought in by Biffa on the instruction of BW to deal with the overflow.

But... because of the operating practices of Biffa the skip remained unfilled — and the rubbish was not put in the skip and removed until BW brought in Wiltshire Waste to clear up the site.

BW's Kennet & Avon Contracts Manager, Richard Harrison, said, "Unfortunately, when we have to bring in other contractors to clear up these problems the cost is not met by Biffa. We have to pay for this extra work out of the K&A Canal's annual budget — money that could be better spent on other essential works."

The sign on the Great Bedwyn waste  compound
In an attempt to reduce the problem at Great Bedwyn new gates have now been put on the compound.

These gates are locked with a BW boater's key —  and there are now signs that give directions to local household recycling centres, along with the their opening times... AND threats to prosecute fly-tippers.

Rubbish collection on BW waters is contracted out nationally to Biffa and this has been the cause for complaint on the K&A Canal for some years.

In October 2008, before the latest  BW re-organisation, Nick Worthington, then BW SW Region Operations Manager, told a Canal Users' Forum at Woolhampton that the contract for the K&A Canal was to be taken from Biffa — but then later boaters were told that the K&A Canal would have to continue with the rubbish service that is provided by Biffa.

There were complaints about rubbish not being collected at Dundas, near Bath, as well as damage to the roof of a historic  toll office building by Biffa's trucks. Biffa have now sub-contracted the work at Dundas to Wiltshire Waste — since when there have been no complaints.

No rubbish disposal at Hungerford

Hungerford loses waste disposal

At Hungerford the rubbish collection service has now been removed from near the Sanitary Station because of access problems for the Biffa 'one man' waste carts.

Boaters are now informed that the nearest place east of Great Bedwyn that they can they can get rid of their rubbish is 5km beyond Hungerford —  at Kintbury.

To report fly-tipping and any other problems with the waste disposal sites contact BW in Devizes: 

01380 722859 or by email to:

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