10341020A SEA of orange refuse bags is being blamed for an outbreak of rats near a popular children’s play area in Hutton.

With no space left in the waste recycling bins in Rayleigh Road, residents are dumping their orange refuse bags and other waste items anywhere they can. The overflowing bins have been blamed for the rat infestation at Hutton Recreation Ground. Residents’ suspicions have been backed up by the councillor responsible for waste collection, Chris Hossack, who says the illegal fly tipping of non-recyclable waste, such as old furniture and even black bags, is the cause of the vermin problem.

 Councillor Hossack, who is chairman of Brentwood Borough Council’s environment committee, has pledged to invest in CCTV cameras in a bid to catch fly-tippers in the act. He also wants Veolia, the firm that runs the recycling amenities in Coxtie Green Road and Roman Road in Mountnessing, to start accepting orange bags. “There are two types of people using the recycling centre in Rayleigh Road,” he said. “There are those people who are legitimately using it but on top of that we have people using it illegally – they are fly-tipping. “They are putting black bag waste there, which is not what it is designed for.

“They are putting sofas, old furniture and bikes there, any sort of old rubbish. “We have in effect an unregulated and unmanned civic amenity site, which people are abusing, particularly when they put black bags there that get ripped open. “It is not beyond the realms of possibility the rat problem is linked. “The council is having to put a lot of resources into cleaning up after the people who are misusing the sites. “It is a problem because resource comes at a cost. The flip side is we need to understand why people feel they need to use it, even though we collect their orange bags every week.”

Cllr Hossack has declared his plans to fight fly-tippers, who cost the taxpayer in the region of £600,000 each year. He continued: “I have said to the guys at the council we are totally fed up with this and we need to invest in more CCTV mobile units. “What I can tell you is we are definitely going to get more CCTV cameras to catch people fly-tipping – I’m fed up with it. “We need to catch these people. Do not dump your sofa there. If you do, we’ll take your number plate and we’ll fine you.”

Cllr Hossack also urged Veolia, which operates Essex County Council’s recycling amenity centres, to start accepting orange bags at its two sites in Brentwood. He said: “When the county council renegotiated for Veolia to operate their civic amenity sites, they didn’t factor in the orange bags and that is partly to blame for the issue. “It is a real shame that you have no other place for the orange bags to go at the civic amenity site than in the landfill. “Veolia do not have to take the orange bags. Brentwood gets paid for its recycling and if we put that in landfill that is all lost. “Brentwood is prepared to supply the bins for people to put their orange bags in and empty them. “It’s not difficult – there is nothing for Veolia to do other than open the gates and allow people to put their orange bags in the bin.”

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