Darlington Borough Council (DBC) in partnership with County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service (CDDFRS) are launching ‘The Back Lanes Project’.
The project aims to encourage local people to keep the back streets of Darlington clean and free of rubbish, reducing fly-tipping and deliberate fires.
Back lanes in some areas of Darlington have seen an increase in fly-tipping and residents leaving loose rubbish and wheelie bins out in the street. The new initiative aims to clean up the streets and will see the council’s Civic Enforcement Team and the fire service working together to visit residents and deliver education.
This will include information about bin collection days, correct bin storage and refuse disposal, and ultimately the consequences of not taking ownership of their own rubbish, which could result in enforcement action and even prosecution.
The project will initially focus on a number of streets in the Northgate, Bank Top, Pierremont, North Road and Park East ward areas of Darlington. As well as education, the residents will be given free bin identification stickers and the council will work with local private landlords to remind them of their responsibilities.
If the initiative is successful it will be rolled out to other ward areas of Darlington.
It’s not just issues around refuse disposal which blights the community, CDDFRS has also reported increases in the number of deliberate rubbish fires they have attended in the same hotspot ward areas.
Malcolm Woodward, Assistant District Manager for CDDFRS said: “Since April, over 60% of deliberate fires attended by the service in Darlington have involved loose refuse.
“Our crews will be assisting our partners to help deliver education and understanding to the local community. We are hopeful this will reduce the amount of loose refuse on the streets and in turn, the number of deliberate fires our crews attend.”
Councillor Jonathan Dulston, Darlington Borough Council’s Cabinet member for community safety said: “We’re working closely with the fire service on this pilot project to raise awareness and tackle the issue of bins being left out, fly tipping and deliberate fires set in our back lanes
“Leaving bins out overnight, or for days on end, means they can become a target – the bin itself may be stolen or used by thieves to gain access to properties and the less time your bin is out, the less likely it is to be a target for arsonists, bag slashers or others.
“Our message is clear: don’t put your bin out until collection day and bring it in as soon as possible the same day! Dumping rubbish in the back lanes will also not be tolerated.
“We’re hoping to educate and persuade people – resid