Fly-tippers will be named and shamed if they’ve committed an offence, warns Croydon Council.
The council’s Don’t Mess – Take Pride campaign has been focusing on cleaning up the streets since its establishment in June 2014.
In the council’s £15m annual budget £5m is spent on street cleaning, though not all of that is spent towards tackling the issue of fly-tipping.
Since the council launched the initiative, the collection of fly-tipping reported within 48 hours has risen to 88% from just 3%.
The council expect by March to have reached double figure prosecutions for environmental crimes in 2015, and have seen five times as many people interviewed under caution since the programme began.
Labour councillor for Broad Green and Deputy Leader for Clean Green Croydon, Stuart Collins, has called on the government to join up and take action to help reduce the problem.
He said: “The amount of money we waste as a country from fly-tipping is massive.
“It’s costing the country billions to deal with.
“Our approach is to name and shame people. We’ll put out notifications of who people are and where they live, because we hope that impact will put people off fly tipping in the future.
“We need to get the government to do more and show a bit of teeth.
“We need a joined-up campaign with the central government. We need to be able to say to people that they could face a custodial sentence if they don’t clean up their act.”
The council has received more than 4,000 incidents of fly-tipping having been reported in less than a year, and currently has 170 applicants to the Don’t Mess campaign.
Cllr Collins revealed that Croydon Council is working hard to encourage residents and traders to get involved with the scheme, and to clean up areas of private property.
“We’re going to households and trying to get people to sign up with ‘Don’t Mess’ in Croydon,” he added.
“We’re also doing a big job with traders, trying to educate them to have a trade license and not to put out waste too long before collection.
“We’re trying to win hearts and minds of people in Croydon and encourage them to take a bit of pride.”
Every tonne of waste costs the council an estimated £80 to deal with, but fly-tipping is a bigger issue and Cllr Collins believes a large tip of two or three tonnes costs the council about £8,000 to deal with.
The council are also trying hard to discourage people from arranging waste disposals from unregistered rogue collectors.
Cllr Collins said: “You often get rogue fly tippers who will organise a pick up.
“They won’t want to pay the landfill tax so they can end up with furniture and rubble just dumped.
“The Don’t Mess – Take Pride aims to educate people to not use rogue waste collectors, to recycle properly and not to litter.”
Picture courtesy of Alan Stanton, with thanks