National Pest Technicians Association Technical Manager John Hope has expressed “a big concern” over the public health consequences of increasing numbers of councils charging people to use their local tip.
With nearly 50 local authorities apparently now demanding a so-called ‘rubbish tax’, the NPTA is concerned about an inevitable increase in fly-tipping and, with it, a rise in rodent and other pest activity.
Mr Hope, a leading pest control expert who trains and advises technicians around the United Kingdom, has appealed to both the Government and local authorities to consider the ramifications carefully – or face public health consequences.
“It’s a big concern,” said Mr Hope.
“Anything that has the potential to put more uncontrolled rubbish on our streets or in our parks and countryside, has got the potential to increase pest activity, be it through rodents, flies or other pests.
“Hygiene and housekeeping are right at the top of the list when it comes to controlling any pest problem. If you’ve got uncontrolled waste being put where it shouldn’t, then that’s going to make everyone’s life more difficult.
“More pests means more pest control, and more pest control means we’re having to carry out control measures in affected areas, which potentially increases the risk to the public with the use of trapping systems or rodenticides.”
With the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs reportedly set to conduct a review into council charges, Mr Hope added: “I’d like to see the charging stopped.
“If you start charging people, all you’re going to do is increase fly-tipping and while the majority of people will want to dispose of their waste responsibly, there will be a hardcore of people – potentially and increasing number of them – who will not dispose of it properly.
“Ideally, this sort of service should be free to encourage responsible waste disposal.”