Local businessman Martin Montague’s nationwide battle against fly-tippers will be seen on BBC television next week.
Presenter Angela Rippon travelled down to the Meon Valley to interview Martin about his campaign against the scourge of fly-tipping for Rip Off Britain.
Martin, who lives near Bishop’s Waltham, is founder of the free ClearWaste.com app and website which lets people report illegal dumping anywhere in the UK.
“It’s great that the BBC has decided to highlight the problem of fly-tipping and devote a whole episode of Rip-off Britain to the subject. Angela Rippon was lovely and was very keen to discover what we are doing to combat fly-tippers.
“Like most people, she hates fly-tipping and I think she and the production team were shocked by the amount of illegally dumped waste there is around this area and all over the country.
“Fly-tipping is disgusting yet we have seen a big increase since lockdown began and local authorities are struggling to keep up with it. We need higher fines, the vehicles of offenders crushed and prison terms for persistent waste criminals.
“The Meon Valley continues to be very badly hit by fly-tippers.”
Martin is determined to play his part in stopping fly-tippers. “I’ll do anything I can to stop it, even if that means staking out grotspots to catch fly-tippers in the act,” he says.
“We’ve got every bit of kit we need from night vision goggles to cameras so my message to fly-tippers is: We’re coming to get you. We give any evidence we gather to the authorities so they catch prosecute the perpetrators.
“Fly-tipping is really bad for the environment and can be fatal to wildlife and it also costs taxpayers thousands and thousands of pounds to clean-up, money that could be better spent on things like schools or care for the elderly.
“My aim with the ClearWaste.com app and website is to make it really easy for people to report fly-tipping and together we can reverse the scourge of fly-tipping which affects everyone, whether you live in a town or a city or in the countryside.
“It came about because I was just absolutely sick to death of seeing fly-tipping everywhere,” says Martin. “I really hate fly-tipping and the damage it does to our environment, not to mention the cost of cleaning it up.
“I’d had the idea for the ClearWaste app several years ago and I was hoping someone else – perhaps some part of government – would come up with a way of fixing it but nothing happened. The problem appeared to be getting worse rather than better.
“Eventually I got sick of waiting for someone else to come up with some way to try to fix the problem of fly-tipping, so I decided that someone needed to do something about it and that someone was going to have to be me.”
Martin had ensured that the app is quick and easy to use. “If people find fly-tipped stuff they just take a picture with the app, put in a few details and a report will instantly be sent to the local council,” he says. “It’s hooked into every local authority in the country.
“There’s no need to go to council websites and find the right place to report it to or phone a helpline and sit waiting in a queue for your call to be answered.
“You don’t even need to know where you are as you can use your location settings on your phone to do that automatically if you want to. Hopefully given time the statistics will be at help councils predict where fly-tippers operate.”
The simple-to-use app and website links to every local authority in the country and will help to combat flytipping. It gives councils the location of the rubbish along with details and photographs and, over time, the mapping technology should be able to discover patterns in fly-tipping in order to catch criminals.
A unique price comparison section of the app and website now allows consumers to find licenced waste companies to get rid of junk at reasonable prices, and help them avoid being ripped off by rogue traders who take their cash and then fly-tip the rubbish, leaving the householder at risk of prosecution.
An advert for ClearWaste starring actor John Challis (Boycie in Only Fools and Horses), Emily Head (Carli in The Inbetweeners) and Frankie Oatway, from the Discovery series Strippers: Cars for Cash, is currently airing on Sky television.
The ClearWaste.com app is available free from the Apple and Google Play app stores: Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details… Apple: https://apps.apple.com/gb/app/clearwaste/id1462879562
The episode of Rip Off Britain featuring Martin will air on BBC One on Tuesday at 9.15 and will be available afterwards on BBC iPlayer: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000n9nv