Expanded litter squad goes undercover

Published: 27 May 2016

The council is using an undercover squad of litter busters to target flytipping hotspots across the borough.

The team will be working in plain clothes to target residents, landlords and businesses that break litter laws.

And they will also focus attention on builders and tradesmen whose waste is often flytipped on street corners.

The squad will be able to use small and inconspicuous portable CCTV cameras which can be moved around the various hotspots to gather evidence to prosecute flytippers and litterbugs.

Their work schedules will also be staggered so that they can work outside of normal working hours at times of the day and night when professional flytippers are at their most active.

The council’s director of housing and community services Brian Reilly said: “We are working really hard to keep the borough’s streets as clean and tidy as possible.

“Although it’s not a major problem locally, just a single flytip on its own is one too many, and whenever it does happen it causes a great deal of upset to residents.

“Our beefed-up squad of inspectors will be looking to target businesses who land taxpayers with the bill for clearing up their commercial waste and also landlords who think it’s okay to dump unwanted items on a street corner whenever they change tenancies.

“The team will also be speaking to residents who don’t use lidded dustbins to store their binbags but instead leave them out unprotected so far ahead of their collection day that the local cat and fox population has plenty of time to rip them open and scatter their contents all over the pavement.

“We will also be targeting the cowboys who drive around in vans looking in people’s front gardens for large items of furniture or builder’s waste, get paid to take it away and then simply dump it around the corner.

“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.”

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.

As well as a rigorous cleaning schedule, the council also uses its enforcement powers to tackle litter louts and flytippers.  Over the past two years the town hall has brought 106 prosecutions to court for waste offences and issued 1,053 on-the-spot litter fines.

To report a flytip email wasteservices@wandsworth.gov.uk.

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