Fly-tipping is the thorn in every community’s side that just won’t go away – tarnishing our towns and natural landscapes and draining vital resources and funding. And it’s not just the public sector that has to pay for the clean up, but the UK building industry.
Skip Watch TV catches culprits in the act
A recent poll of 250 builders revealed 70 per cent of them paid the price of having their skips filled up by other people’s rubbish, setting them back an average of £121.
The Onepoll research inspired Fix Radio to take the matter into its own hands when, this August, the station launched Skip Watch TV – a live stream that’s been catching fly-tippers filling up a skip in Southwark, Central London.
Hundreds of people tuned in, and it was an effective way to get eyes on the issue. But now Skip Watch TV is off air, what’s the government doing to tackle the problem?
Gov doubles down on last year’s fly-tipping funding
Last year, the government provided £450,000 to 11 councils for anti-fly-tipping projects. Councils like Durham saw fly-tipping fall by over 60% thanks to a combination of educational bin stickers, permanent signs and installing new CCTV. With schemes like this delivering such positive results, the government has decided to double down its efforts for 2023.
The environmental Minister, Rebecca Pow, had this to say: “Our first round of grants over the last year were a big success – which is why we are expanding this scheme to help more local authorities around the country take the fight to waste criminals”.
Building awareness and turning up surveillance
This year, the government will distribute almost double the funding across 21 local authorities. Plymouth will be rolling out a targeted social media campaign and upping their roadside CCTV systems.
Pendle Council, near Burnley, will be putting surveillance in hotspot areas at the top of their priorities. Northumberland will be deploying more portable CCTV cameras across the county, while Mansfield is putting better waste infrastructure in place, making sure people have access to the right disposal units.
Councils will be tracking performance over a six-month period, then reporting back the results to help other areas rollout similar schemes.
Spreading best practice and increasing penalties
To help spread best practice across local authorities, the government is also developing a fly-tipping toolkit with the National Fly-Tipping Prevention Group.
As part of the Anti-Social Behaviour Plan, the Prime Minister has also announced an increase in the level of fines for graffiti, littering and fly-tipping – now ranging anywhere between £500 and £1,000.
Other tactics include introducing a fly-tipping league table for councils, extra ‘hotspot patrols, and trialling an ‘Immediate Justice’ scheme – an initiative to make punishments quicker and more visible.
So while Skip Watch TV goes out of commission for the time being, it’s safe to say our local authorities are right on top of the issue.
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