A “fly-tipper” blamed for turning Lindley into an eyesore has been revealed – as a community-spirited litter vigilante!
Pensioner John Cottam e-mailed the Examiner after seeing a report about rubbish “dumped” by the bus shelter outside Huddersfield Royal Infirmary in Acre Street to explain himself.
He said that he had found the rubbish – which included an old tyre and broken pieces of wood – during one of his regular litter patrols around the village and had contacted Kirklees Council for the items to be collected from the site.
In the email he wrote: “I have to confess that I am the HRI Fly Tipper reported in today’s Examiner.
“Having got sick of the filthy habits of a significant minority of Huddersfield residents I have been cleaning areas around HRI which the council don’t touch, for example Savile Road or the garages behind King Street approximately once a week.
“For the larger items it seems sensible to move them to a central point for the council to collect and report it to them. The bins by HRI seem an obvious choice – if nothing else, if it not cleared it is likely to attract attention as your story proves.”
Mr Cottam said that since leaving the items mentioned in the report, he had collected an electric motor, a bucket of builder’s rubble and a wooden pallet which he had “added to the sculpture.”
In the past, his haul has included 400 BT phone directories, which had been dumped in Savile Road, a child’s rocking horse and an artificial Christmas tree.
Explaining how he began his one-man clean-up crusade over a year ago, Mr Cottam said: “I got fed up with the state of the area. I live in Wellington Street and it was the sight of a dead rat in the road that did it. It just got my goat.”
Mr Cottam, a retired civil servant, said council cuts meant there were fewer street cleaners on duty.
“Behind my house there is a row of garages which are in a dreadful state,” he said. “I decided to clear it up and see what happened. Once you clear it up you have to keep up with it because it all comes back.”
As well as tackling his local streets, Mr Cottam regularly collects litter fom Reinwood recreation ground.
Mr Cottam welcomed the Examiner story, saying: “I’m glad you are highlighting this issue as it is a huge problem. I’m also trying to get rubbish sorted on the banking at Salendine Nook School where nobody seems to want to take responsibility.
“I also cleared 15 bags of dog mess from near the seat at the bottom of Savile Road the other day. The bin had been removed but the dog owners left their c**p regardless!”