There is a dedicated taskforce out on the streets of the borough clearing up fly-tipping reported to the council…and also investigating where it has come from. Hundreds of people are facing fines.
The trucks’ crews include environmental crime officers who look to find evidence so they can track where the fly-tipped rubbish originated from. If it is found to have come from a business or a resident, they could be fined.
TRACING THE FLY-TIPPERS
In the first three months after these crews got to work in the summer, they visited 763 streets in the borough to investigate fly-tipping and gather evidence. The dumped waste they found was traced back to 1,124 addresses and the council is in the process of issuing fixed penalty notices (which are effectively ‘fines’) to those people.
Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for environment, transport and leisure, said: “The vast majority of residents dispose of their waste appropriately and legally. Like me, they are disgusted when they see a disrespectful minority fly-tip on our streets.”
The government recently introduced £400 fixed penalty notices. Ealing Council was one of the first London boroughs to adopt a policy of issuing this fine to fly-tippers and to those who gave the fly-tippers the rubbish in the first place.
Serious cases can lead to much higher fines – or even prison. It carries a maximum penalty of an unlimited fine or up to five years’ imprisonment. The police also have the powers to seize vehicles used for fly-tipping.
‘WE WILL FIND YOU AND WE WILL FINE YOU’
Now the crews are out on the streets, more people breaking the law will face fines and prosecution. Initially there were three trucks, but a fourth was added in October.
Councillor Mahfouz said: “There is never any excuse for disposing of rubbish illegally. It’s disgusting, an eyesore and dangerous. We’re cracking down on those who deliberately dirty our neighbourhoods by coming down on them hard. Let me send a clear message to anyone who feels they can dump rubbish on Ealing’s streets: We will find you and we will fine you.”
Council officers have been running joint operations with the police, and using resident reports,
CCTV and mobile cameras to build up a comprehensive picture of problem areas in the borough – and occasionally catch culprits red-handed.
The taskforce crews are going out to these ‘hotspots’ to clear up any fly-tipping and take evidence.
“There is often more evidence of where the rubbish originated from than you might think,” said
Councillor Mahfouz. “If illegally dumped waste is traced back to your property, you could be fined hundreds – or even thousands – of pounds.
“Giving cash to someone who isn’t registered to take away rubbish legally is utterly irresponsible. It is far from harmless – because these unscrupulous ‘professional fly-tippers’ will dump it wherever they can. They don’t care where. And then it is all of us, as local taxpayers, who have to pay for the council to clear it up.
“You have a legal responsibility to ensure that your waste is disposed of properly. And it is easy to do.”
IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY
It is your responsibility to make proper use of the council’s rubbish and recycling collection services to take away your regular household waste.
However, if you are carrying out household clearances or working on DIY projects you must either:
- Use one of the council’s services. You can dispose of DIY waste at Greenford Re-use and Recycling Centre. To find out what you can recycle for free, and how, visit www.ealing.gov.uk/recycling. Non-recyclable (or unsorted) DIY items cost £23 for every 100kg of waste. The council also offers a bulky waste collection service and will collect up to eight items for £40. Residents can share bulky collections with friends and neighbours, but the items must all be collected from one location
- Use a skip company approved by the council. All the approved skip companies are listed on the council’s website at www.ealing.gov.uk/skips
- Or hire a reputable waste clearance firm registered with the Environment Agency. You can check if a waste clearance firm is registered by calling 08708 506 506 or using an online register at www.wastecarriersregistration.service.gov.uk/registrations/search
HOW TO REPORT FLY-TIPPING
To report fly-tipped rubbish or anyone fly-tipping visit www.ealing.gov.uk/reportit or call the dedicated hotline on 020 8825 8825.