Stronger enforcement and stiffer fines await flytippers and litter louts

Published: Wednesday 19th October 16

The council is about to hit litter louts and flytippers with a double whammy - a stronger enforcement team and much heavier on-the-spot-fines.

An external team of contractors is to be employed as additional litter inspectors to enhance and strengthen the existing squad which has been hitting flytippers hard this year.

So far this year the council’s in-house team has fined more 1,100 people and business owners for flytipping and littering. And when the team employed three extra members of staff in May, this trio alone gave out 378 on-the-spot-fines in their first eight weeks.

On-the-spot fines for flytipping are now £400

Based on their success, the council is to now conduct a pilot scheme using an additional team of inspectors to target those who drop litter or dump rubbish on Wandsworth’s streets.

These extra personnel will wear uniforms and body cameras and target litter hotspots across the borough seven days a week. They will commence work early in the New Year and will not be required to hand out a pre-ordained number of fines nor will they be operating under any kind of bonus system.

Both they and the in-house team will however be dishing out much stiffer financial penalties to those caught dropping litter or dumping waste. These fines have increased from £80 to £400 to reflect the council’s zero-tolerance approach to flytipping and to also help recover some of the clear-up costs borne by the public purse.

The council spends upwards of £4m a year to keep the borough’s streets clean and some of this amount relates directly to the cost of picking up waste that people have dropped or dumped either deliberately or through carelessness.

As well as employing more inspectors, the council is also using small portable CCTV cameras at various hotspots to gather evidence for prosecutions.

They are also targeting businesses not fulfilling their legal obligation to have a written contract with a licensed commercial waste removal company. Some shops, restaurants and other businesses try to avoid paying to have their waste collected – preferring to dump it on street corners leaving taxpayers to foot the bill.

Some landlords too would rather leave worn-out mattresses and unwanted furniture on pavements rather than pay to have these items disposed of properly when their tenancies change.

Both teams will continue targeting these types of cases – plus those where residents have left their  refuse sacks out on the public highway – often next to street trees or lamposts – thus offering wild animals like foxes and cats the chance to rip them open and spread the contents everywhere.

And they will also look to collar unlicensed waste removal operators who drive around the streets looking for large items of waste to collect - and having taken money to dispose of it properly - simply drive around the corner and dump it.

The council is working hard to keep Wandsworth’s streets clean. Every residential street in the borough is cleaned at least once a week, but some hotspots benefit from up to three sweeps and litter picks each week.

The council has also made it much easier for people to report flytips and other problems. A new ‘Wandsworth Report It’ app is now available so that people can report these problems whilst on the move.  The app is available on Apple, Android and Windows mobile devices.

Residents and businesses can also report flytips and request clean ups via the council’s website.   

Environment spokesman Cllr Jonathan Cook said: “We are working really hard to keep the borough’s streets as clean and tidy as possible.

“Most are in good condition but there are pockets of our borough where flytipping is more commonplace and we will be focusing the efforts of these new inspectors in these areas.

“By stepping up our enforcement levels and imposing much stiffer penalties on those who drop litter or dump rubbish, we aim to send out a really strong message to all those who think they can get away with spoiling our local environment.

“We want to work with local residents and businesses to keep our streets clean and the extra resources we are putting into expanding our litter team will help us achieve that goal.”

Businesses can find full details about their legal responsibilities at www.wandsworth.gov.uk/waste

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Recent comments

How do we contact this special squad and have they started now it is Feb 2017 ?
Sylvia Szeliga

1 February 2017

This is great news and I hope it can be maintained: we have an ongoing problem in Tonsley Hill where it joins East Hill and every day, bags of litter etc. are just put onto the pavement and they are then opened and it blows everywhere; please keep an eye on this hot spot!
frances rutherford

25 October 2016

I live in Avoca Road and the corner of Avoca road / Tooting Bec road is a favourite dumping spot. This morning a large metal cabinet has been dumped. We had "No fly tipping" signs but they were removed. Fly tipping has increased dramatically over the past few years and the increase correlates with the tighter rules and higher costs of waste disposal. Councils have raised the cost of bulky waste disposal and inflated their charges for skip permits. Perhaps at a macro level, why not introduce a disposal tax on the purchase price? Also, monetary fines will not help and a prison sentence will be required with the seizure of fly tipper's vehicle.
j karna

24 October 2016

This feels like an extraordinary dig at those of us on Garratt Lane who are required to leave our rubbish bags on the Street, or else we have no collection. Together with the annoying development that recycling sacks are no longer available at the library, and that the process of ordering them is flawed, to say the least, it is starting to feel that some residents are more equal than others when it comes to the waste department's policies. I am all for cracking down on littering and dumping, but have not yet seen a commensurate effort by the council to help Garratt Lane residents 'do the right thing'.
Paul Hopwood

22 October 2016

Heads up on suspicious activity around the Pulborough Triangle in Southfields today. Travellers in a pick up truck driving slowly around the area all morning looking in people's gardens.
Stephen Lee

22 October 2016

A good positive step to tackle with the epidemic of fly tipping and littering. I would like to see more measures to be applied such as installing more CCTV, more warning signs about littering and fly-tipping, more rubbish bin placing in streets. And above all increase the fine to £1000 instead of £400
Lam Tran

22 October 2016

The flytipping in Tooting from Bickersteth Road up to Sainsburys has become an epidemic. I see rubbish every single day but see no improvement. Is Tooting being reviewed?
Georgina Mackenzie

22 October 2016

I am very pleased about the fly tippers . . . which I am really annoyed with our neoghbourhood . I live on Fountain Road and I always take pride looking after my own premises . Our road is one of the filthiest , right after the rubbish collection , a lot of litters again . Around the corner , under the tree by KILN MUSE BUS STOP is forever bags of rubbish from one of the residents in that Kiln Muse houses , domestic rubbish with take aways and baby nappies . The person is probably doing it in the night time . The street sweeper , I presume gather the litters come night time again . By morning , the mess all over the place as the foxes from the cemetery are devouring the bags . Absolutely irritating and very unsanitary .
Salvacion Canizo

21 October 2016

Some of the worst litter louts are the assorted council contract litter louts - sorry rubbish collectors/spreaders
M. Livingstone

21 October 2016

It might be more effective if you just picked it up with the rubbish. We cannot all get to tips etc and would appreciate collections. Better than having rubbish hanging around and probably not more expensive than sending inspectors around, chasing people and taking them to court. So just send a vehicle to take it away.
Jane Heany

21 October 2016

I hope this helps as it's good initiative. I have reported flytipping right outside my front door on countless occasions. There are large items like tables, sofas dumped all the time. Just now I've come home to find a washing machine dumped here. There is no flytipping sign or warning. Could a sign please be put up on the lamppost that unwanted furniture rests on. This may help.
Luke

21 October 2016

Your app is excellent for reporting and every time I walk past the side of Tesco's on Vant Road, Tooting, and there is a pile of garbage bags and other litter, I take a picture and send it to you. And it usually is gone the next day. But sometimes within an hour, another pile is started. When are you going to install CCTV to see who is actually doing this?
Joyce Lorinstein

21 October 2016

These specialised teams should also work at night as most of the dumping is done after dinner when no one is around.
Mary

21 October 2016

I am writing on behalf of DHERA (Dover House Road Residents Association) to ask if we could have A4 posters to put up in our notice boards about fly tipping being a crime with a large fine associated
Julian Berry

21 October 2016