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HomeNewsSheppey Residents Disgusted By Illegal Waste Dump

Sheppey Residents Disgusted By Illegal Waste Dump

People living near an illegal waste site on the Isle of Sheppey coast say it will take many years to clean up the rubbish-strewn beaches.

They say dumped waste, ranging from tyres, plastics and shredded fabrics to asbestos has washed around the coast “like a giant soup” from the dumping site known locally as Eastchurch Gap.

A court order was issued last year banning anyone from entering or tipping waste in the area, but large quantities of waste had already built up on the cliff base, with weeds and grass now beginning to grow over much of it.

The Environment Agency said it was determined to stop such “organised criminality”. They added “Waste crime spoils the natural environment, and we are aware of the impact this organised criminality has on communities and people’s enjoyment of their environment”.

But critics say it is taking far too long and the damage to the enviroment has already beem done.

Belinda Lamb, from Medway Swale Estuary partnership, which organises monthly beach cleans, said: “There’s a lot of shredded carpet, material, fake grass, fake Christmas trees, work wear, hard plastics, very industrial stuff. It’s all been dumped off the cliffs in recent years and it all comes in on the big tides. I think it’s going to be continuous beach cleans that will do it because so much has come off the cliffs into the sea. It’s all just floating out there like a giant soup. So it’s just going to be a continuous job for many, many years.”

The local MP Gordon Henderson said tipping began in 2020 after a series of cliff collapses due to erosion caused a family home to slide down the cliff-face.

He said “At one time, people living in Warden Road were seeing up to 50 lorries a day going up and 50 lorries a day going down. It wasn’t all about tipping rubbish off a cliff, it was the destruction of the local environment.”

we are aware of the impact this organised criminality has on communities and people’s enjoyment of their environment

Swale Borough Council said it was part of a multi-agency group working on the issue. A council spokesperson added: “We appreciate the efforts that the local community are making.”

But it’s not really good enough is it, to rely on locals to clean up the mess afterwards, and potentially not safe for them either.

It comes as investigations continue into many other illegal waste sites around Kent.

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