disposed mattress, illegal dumping
Leah Berenson
Leah Berenson
April 17, 2024 ·  3 min read

Woman Fed Up with Illegal Dumping Dumps Waste at Address Found Amongst the Garbage

We all know that garbage is everywhere. It’s hard to find somewhere, particularly major US cities, where garbage doesn’t line streets and highways. Not only is illegal dumping disgusting and illegal, but it also has a negative environmental impact. One woman living in the UK got so fed up with “fly-tipping” in her community that she gathered up a heap of trash and returned it to the address she found in the mail.

Vigilante Takes Action

Holly Smith is somewhat of an illegal dumping vigilante. She was driving down a country lane in Upton St Leonards when she came across a heap of illegally dumped garbage. The village is located in the county of Gloucestershire, in Southwest England, and has reputation for clean, garbage-free roads. She was feeling annoyed by the disgusting eyesore she came across. As a result, she decided to load it up into her trailer and deliver it back to the original owner.

Standing Against Illegal Dumping

Holly explained, “You know it’s in everyone’s way, it’s in the middle of the road, so I just wanted to get it out the way pretty much I just had that urge to get it gone.” Not only did she return the rubbish, but she recorded a video of herself making the return. On the video she states, “There’s all your rubbish back now next time get yourself something to do it properly!”

She then reported the illegal dumping to Stroud District Council along with the letter as evidence. She also explained that she felt a sense of support from the community. “They were more than happy for me to take it back. I started to tip it all out onto the drive and the neighbors came out and said, ‘well done, good on you!’ I felt really happy because I’ve got rid of it and I’ve done something for the community.” Holly shared in an interview with ITV News West Country. She continued, “This community is immaculate, you won’t find any rubbish around here, it’s very lovely and I felt really bad for everybody with people walking past and saying, ‘it’s terrible, there’s rubbish everywhere’ so it’s like right I’m gonna deal with it I’m gonna sort it out.”

Officials Comment on Illegal Dumping

Although the District Council advises against touching discarded waste, they do, with enough evidence presented, thoroughly prosecute the crooks. A spokesperson for the District Council explained, “Fly-tipping is illegal and where evidence is strong enough, the council will prosecute. Generally, we do not advise touching waste as it may contain hazardous items but instead, note the time and location of the fly-tip, and report it.” Further explaining, “Waste collectors must be registered on the Environment Agency’s website and have a valid Waste Carrier’s License, and residents should ask where their rubbish will go, and keep receipts for the service provided.” For those who don’t know what “fly-tipping” means, it’s essentially the British term for illegal dumping. And Holly isn’t the only one feeling fed up with the amount of trash that exists in the world.

Fixing Some Damage

We’ve previously discussed microplastics found in the ocean and our food. Large companies like Patagonia and 4Ocean are working to reduce plastic waste. Furthermore, they recycle that waste into their products. We know that there are several programs in which people are involved in “side-of-the-road trash pickup.” People everywhere are fed up with illegal dumping. They are concerned about the impact it has on our environment. And the eye-sore that it becomes when floating around the side of roads.

There are several simple ways everyone can do their part to keep our streets. In turn, ultimately, the world will be clean for ourselves and future generations. Holly Smith has done her part. Not only by doing something about the pile of rubbish she encountered. She’s also making it publicly known that she’s not tolerating illegal dumping, or as it’s colloquially known in the UK, “fly-tipping.”

Keep Reading: Plastic Recycling a “Failed Concept,” Study Says, with Only 5% Recycled in U.S. Last Year as production rises