We’re based in Thurrock and flytipping is endemic. Even when we walk down to our local nature reserve on the marshes near us, we have to walk past piles of other people’s trash they’ve dumped out the back of a car, van or truck. Over in Basildon on some of the estates we’ve worked on, it’s the same story – scumbags thinking a run down estate is fair game for dumping their trash instead of making the effort to dispose of it properly.

Before we go any further, yes we know local and county councils can be less than helpful to people rocking up at a council tip with large loads they need to get rid of. A few years ago, we had a run in with a jobsworth at a tip who refused to accept the load we had picked up after a community clean up. We understand the frustration people feel when they’re asked to pay a small fortune to offload a large pile of trash at a council tip or when they get fobbed off by a jobsworth. If that happens, take a bit of direct action and leave the trash at the tip, drive off and if you get a summons, use that as an excuse to pillory the obstructive policies of the tip operators. The solution is not driving off and dumping the load down the nearest country lane or in a secluded corner of the nearest estate.

Why are we as anarchists commenting on what many see as an amenity issue? Simply, because we don’t see it as an amenity issue. We see flytipping as a symptom of the increasingly atomised and fractured society we have to endure. Flytipping down a country lane or on an estate is an assault on the environment. That’s the environment that we walk through or live in and the one that supports the plants, insects, birds and mammals that form the ecosystem we’re all a part of. If it’s an assault on the environment, it’s also an assault on all of us who exist in that environment.

Flytipping reflects the dog eat dog world we have to endure. A dog eat dog world where anti-social scumbags feel they can get away with offloading their trash so it becomes someone else’s problem to deal with while they walk away from the consequences. Councils with increasingly scarce resources are attempting but failing to get on top of the problem. It can be dealt with by those of us who care taking action that lets the minority of scumbags engaging in anti-social practices such as flytipping know that their presence in our communities will not be tolerated unless they mend their ways.