Flytipping turned into art in Basildon town centre

Local artist Maxine Newell has been turning flytipped waste collected by the council from around the borough into a new art installation every day this week in St Martin’s Square, Basildon town centre.

As part of Basildon Arts Week and in conjunction with Recycle Now’s Recycle Week and the We’re Cleaning Up campaign the display is about getting people to think about what gets thrown out and what they should be doing with it.

Maxine said: “I live in an area in Basildon where flytipping is a regular occurrence and see first-hand how it effects the surrounding neighbourhood.

Basildon’s much needed “Arts Week” along with Recycle Week has allowed me an opportunity to produce an intervention installation using flytipped rubbish.

“The aim of this artwork was to stimulate conversations around the subjects of flytipping, recycling and art. And judging by the many conversations I’ve had with passers-by this week, it has definitely achieved its goal.”

Leader of Basildon Council, Councillor Gavin Callaghan, said: “This display really makes a statement and is a good visual representation of the actual items that get flytipped in our borough each day.

“It’s important that people get to see it out of its usual context which would be flytipped in our streets. Seeing it here in St Martin’s Square brings it into sharp focus and provokes thought.

“We removed more than 3,600 flytips last year with more than 80% of that coming from household waste. It’s time we brought these levels down.”

Chairman of the Neighbourhoods and Public Spaces Committee Councillor David Harrison added: “We will continue to take a hard line on those who think they can use the borough as a dumping ground by going down the prosecution route. However, we will also be taking a preventative approach with education and supporting local people who are already doing great work to clean up their communities.

“We want to rally the community to help with litter-picks and encourage greater pride in our borough.”

The “We’re cleaning up” campaign aims to unite the whole community against the blight of dumped waste and litter.

The campaign, which will run until October 6, aims to raise awareness of enforcement action taken by the council, highlight what flytipping is and promote action taken by local communities to help keep neighbourhoods clean and tidy, with the overall aim of reducing levels of dumped waste and litter.

To find out more about the We’re Cleaning Up campaign visit www.basildon.gov.uk/cleaning-up

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Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]