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News release from: 20/09/2023

Community Payback team clears 16 bags of rubbish

Community Payback team clears 16 bags of rubbish

Fast food packaging, fly tipped waste and other dumped rubbish filled 16 black bin bags during a day of clean-up action near the Caxton Gibbet services.

South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Environmental Crime Enforcement team partnered with the local Community Payback scheme to clear waste and generally tidy up the area around the services on Saturday 16 September 2023.

Two people in orange high-visibility vests walking down the street. They are picking-up litter from the side of the road and on the grass verge.

Throughout the morning, staff from the District Council plus the Community Payback team cleared the ditches, hedgerows, and grass verges to fill 16 bags of waste. The rubbish had mainly built-up from careless motorists and pedestrians throwing away fast food packaging, but there was also fly-tipped household waste and other items of rubbish dumped in the area.

The rubbish bags were taken away by Greater Cambridge Shared Waste – the waste service that is shared between South Cambridgeshire District and Cambridge City councils.

Cllr Henry Batchelor, Lead Cabinet Member for Environmental Services at South Cambridgeshire District Council, said: “This is a great collaboration creating positive results in our district. We hope to see many more events like this in the coming weeks and months. Littering is an antisocial crime which blights communities and poses a risk to public health and harms the environment.”

Felicity Dunne, Head of Unpaid Work – Probation Service, East of England, added: “The Community Payback Team were pleased to be able to support the work improving the area for the local community around Caxton Gibbet. The success of this event, part of our ‘Community Payback Autumn Clean’ which runs from 15 to 24 September, demonstrates the value of a collaborative approach to tackling anti-social behaviour.”

Community Payback (previously known as Community Service) is a robust alternative to prison, which allows those convicted of offences to complete unpaid work in their local community by way of reparation. Courts have the power to sentence people who have committed certain crimes to undertake between 40 and 300 hours of Community Payback rather than face a prison sentence. Whilst it is considered a punishment, there is a huge rehabilitative element to Community Payback as well. People on probation are given the chance to re-engage with the community and make a difference through meaningful work, often learning new skills along the way.

This partnership was the first example of this type of working with the District Council. It’s hoped there will be more to come as the Council looks to identify other sites and locations that would benefit from similar clean-up operations. The Council is grateful to the staff of Caxton Gibbet McDonalds restaurant for their support in making the day so successful.

One of two District Councillors for Caxton, Cllr Mark Howell, commented: “We all want people to have a good time and enjoy themselves, but please take your litter home with you or use the bins. Your enjoyment should not be at the expense of others. Well done to everyone involved in the clear up and thank you for making Caxton Gibbet so clean and litter free; you hard work is appreciated”.

A blue van that contains wording on the side saying 'Supporting and investing in our local communities' along with a South Cambridgeshire District Council pick-up truck.

Fellow District Councillor for Caxton, Cllr Peter Sandford, said: “Having recently done a few hours of litter picking along the old A428, it was clear to see just how far and wide fast food packaging spreads – especially from the nearby food outlets. If you’re enjoying food from one of those restaurants, please dispose of the packaging thoughtfully. There are plenty of bins around Caxton Gibbet services – or take it home to recycle or dispose of in your wheelie bins.”

Report littering or fly-tipping concerns to the Council.

Fly tipping is a criminal offence which can result in a Fixed Penalty Notice of up to £400 or lead to court action with fines of up to £50,000 or even a prison sentence.

Ensure you choose a reputable registered waste carrier disposal service if getting rid of items from home. Anyone caught dropping litter in South Cambridgeshire can also be fined.