If we manage our refuse and recycling responsibly, we can all make a positive difference to the cleanliness and safety of our coastal town, and be proactive in the fight against marine pollution.
This is Falmouth Town Council’s message for March as part of its year-long Safer, Cleaner, Greener public information campaign.
Under the Environmental Protection Act (1990), any producer of waste, which includes householders, businesses and visitors, has a legal responsibility called ‘Duty of Care’ to ensure that it is stored securely for collection. Failure to store and present waste correctly can lead to enforcement action and a £100 Fixed Penalty Fine. Enforcement Officers from Cornwall and Falmouth Town Councils patrol the town every week investigating problems.
If household waste is not stored securely, or is put out for collection too far in advance, it can be attacked by scavenging animals and birds, or have litter added to it by passers-by. Rubbish can then be strewn across the streets and blown around by the wind, with the potential to create a health hazard, disrupt local residents and discourage holiday makers from visiting the town.
So how can you help to keep Falmouth clean and tidy, and do your bit for the environment?
Here are the golden rules for managing your refuse and recycling effectively:
• Place your household waste into rubbish sacks and tie them up firmly as loose waste will not be collected. If you use a dustbin, please ensure it has a secure lid
• If you use gull proof bags (which are obtainable from the Falmouth Information Service on The Moor), please place up to four refuse sacks inside, secure the Velcro fastening to conceal them from gulls, then intertwine the handles but do not tie them together
• Mark your address on your dustbins and gull proof bags to prevent them from being returned to the wrong household on collection day
• Put out your rubbish for collection no earlier than dusk on the day before. Better still, put it out on the morning of collection day, which is Tuesday in Falmouth from 7am
• Sharp or dangerous items such as broken glass should be carefully wrapped, labelled and placed beside your dustbin on collection day, not inside it
• Remove your dustbins and gull proof bags from the street as soon as possible after your refuse has been collected
• Do not put garden or clinical waste, or bulky items out with your household rubbish as Cornwall Council has separate collection services for these
• Do not mix your recycling. Separate it into the correct recycling box and bags, which can be obtained from the Falmouth Information Service on The Moor. Ensure that your recycling is clean and secure so that it doesn’t attract gulls and cannot be picked up by the wind.
Everything you need to know about refuse and recycling can be found at www.cornwall.gov.uk/environment-and-planning/recycling-rubbish-and-waste/
“Please help us to keep Falmouth safer, cleaner and greener by preventing litter and rubbish from becoming a nuisance and a hazard,” asks Town Clerk, Mark Williams. “Our coastal situation makes the management of refuse an even greater challenge with our resident population of gulls and the strong winds that we often experience. As unanimous supporters of the Plastic Free Falmouth initiative, Falmouth Town Council encourages everyone to work harder to minimise marine pollution, and by managing refuse and recycling responsibly, local residents can really make a big difference.”