Fringe Box



Claire’s Column – Rubbish Rogue Traders

In this regular column – a must-read for all those interested in Guildford business – Claire Dee calls for vigilance around rogue trader rubbish.

Claire Dee.

As a long-term supporter of Surrey Wildlife Trust, I was shocked to learn this week that the charity spends nearly £50,000 a year dealing with illegal fly-tipping across the county.

Surrey is the most wooded county in England and has around 70% designated green belt space. Which is why so many business people (myself included) love living and working here. There are numerous reports that prove time spent outdoors in the countryside enhances well-being and aids productivity in the workplace. Put simply, it matters.

While our county, and Guildford in particular, is renowned for its thriving businesses and excellent community-minded companies, sadly there are still some rogue traders out there who think unlawfully disposing of their waste is acceptable. And the fact a charity such as Surrey Wildlife Trust has to spend a large chunk of its time and money clearing up their mess is not on.

In the past year alone the trust’s countryside estate team has been called out to clear up more than 100 separate incidents of waste being dumped on nature reserves. Everything from old fridges, builders’ rubble, broken windows, and even asbestos.

As Surrey Wildlife Trust estate manager, Leigh Thornton, observes: “Fly-tipping is a crime and it endangers both the wildlife that lives on the fragile natural habitats we manage and the health and safety of the people who want to enjoy using our reserves.

“The annual cost to the trust of clearing up fly-tips is at least £25,000 a year in staff time and specialist contractor fees to clear debris that is too large or hazardous for us to deal with.”

So please be vigilant and report any fly-tipping activity you see. And spread the word on the reputable local trader businesses who dispose of their waste lawfully. They deserve our support and custom.

For further advice on fly-tipping visit the National Fly-tipping Prevention Group website

Claire Dee runs her own communications consultancy near Guildford and is an active member of the local business community, including sitting on the Surrey Chambers of Commerce board and co-chairing the Business Women in Surrey group. To learn more visit

Share This Post

2 Responses to Claire’s Column – Rubbish Rogue Traders

  1. Jules Cranwell Reply

    April 13, 2018 at 7:35 pm

    Perhaps Claire should point out the benefits of the countryside and the green belt to Guildford Borough Council’s executive, who are hell-bent on sacrificing the green belt at the altars of growth and developers’ profits. We deserve to know why.

  2. John Perkins Reply

    April 14, 2018 at 2:42 pm

    Does anybody know how much Surrey County Council gains from the charges it now imposes for the legitimate disposal of such waste and the cost to others of illegal fly-tipping in the county?

    Increases in one do seem to match increases in the other.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *