The report will give the Committee an overview of reported instances of fly tipping on public land and the associated trends along with the process and actions undertaken as part of the investigations, deterrents employed and removal of fly tipping from public land.
The Committee was given an overview of reported instances of fly tipping on public land and the associated trends along with the process and actions undertaken as part of the investigations, deterrents employed and removal of fly tipping from public land. Jon Hamlet (Street Scene Manager) explained that the table below highlighted the numbers of reported fly tips recorded by The Council on a monthly basis from January 2019 up to and including August 2020.
Calendar Month Reported Fly tips Calendar Month Reported Fly tips
January 2019 79
February 2019 95
March 2019 74
April 2019 80
May 2019 89
June 2019 80
July 2019 72
August 2019 85
September 2019 133
October 2019 131
November 2019 107
December 2019 95
January 2020 152
February 2020 117
March 2020 111
April 2020 185
May 2020 160
June 2020 213
July 2020 250
August 2020 167
For further reference and context the following table provided annual totals for the last full 5 years and the figures for the year 2020 (till date of the report):
Year Number of reported fly tipping
2020 (to date)1380
The monthly data highlighted the impact of COVID and the subsequent closure of the ECC recycling centres combined with households producing extra black bag household waste and DIY/construction waste during that period.
Excluding 2020 the general trend in fly tipping from 2016 was one of a gradual reduction.
Fly tipping investigation and action process and deterrents
The Members heard that with a continued commitment from the authority to combat fly tipping an additional Technical Officer post was created during the Autumn of 2019 within the Street Scene Team. The Officer whose previous experience was working within Essex Police was responsible for the investigation of all fly tipping reports on public land.
Since his introduction the team have tightened up on the reporting procedure to ensure that all incidents of fly tipping were firstly reported in the correct manner; via the online portal or the customer support team; that allowed for more efficient and accurate data capture and response to FOIs, the identification of hotspot areas and pattern monitoring. Single point of report receipt allowed for more rapid response to incidents; same or following day all fly tipping reports were visited to first check their validity, if still present and on public land the incident was searched for evidence, if none was found and depending upon the location door knocking of the local area was undertaken to ascertain the potential origins of the waste.
Where evidence was found the homeowner was visited and depending upon the incident a three tiered approach was undertaken which encompassed the corporate guidance on firstly engaging with the community, educating and lastly enforcing. All reports of fly tipping were logged along with evidence found, actions taken including offenders details, which were monitored for future reports of fly tipping.
That approach had dramatic effects in reducing the amount of repeated fly tipping without the need to take enforcement action and whilst on the surface it may have appeared that no formal enforcement action had taking place the effect of the Officer being seen to search for evidence and carrying out door step interviews with a first stage warning was a deterrent and had a positive impact, It was stressed that where the process deems it necessary and within the public interest the team will take enforcement action.
The Committee was informed that as an additional deterrent and to also aid in the capture of evidence the Officers were investigating the use of suitable covert and overt cameras. It was noted that every fly tipping location was unique which in turn would impact the camera system(s) that could be utilised.
It was reported that the Holland Marshes; between Holland on Sea and Gt Holland was a habitual location for fly tipping; the area at night was remote with no street lights and contained a number of off street laybys which were subject to fly tipping, ranging from individual items up to tipper loads. One layby in particular was subject to fly tipping due to it having an overgrown earth bund in front of it which provided a level of privacy to those who wished to undertake those criminal acts. The Street Scene team worked with a local landowner, the Councils engineering department, Veolia and a private waste removal contractor (grab lorry), not only was the waste cleared but the overgrown vegetation cut back, cleared and the earth bund removed and levelled off so the area provided no hiding place for the fly tippers and vastly improved the street scene of the area.
The works were carried out in the first half of July and prior to that there were frequent, and oftentimes substantial, incidents of fly tipping. In the two months since the completion of the works there has only been a single incident at the location which was of much smaller scale than “regular” fly tips.
Removal of fly tipping
Matt Leach (Street Scene Technical Officer) spoke with the Committed and explained that the removal of fly tipping was typically carried out by three methods:
1. Evidence was found and following a door step interview the householder removed the waste and disposed in a suitable manner.
2. Fly tipping of non-hazardous household waste where no suitable evidence was found and was consequently passed on to the Veolia Hit Team to remove (3.5 tonne caged vehicle driver + loader), Veolia invariable carried out this duty within 72 hours/3 working days of receipt of the job. As part of the new street sweeping contract an additional mobile crew similar to the Hit Team were also available for the removal of fly tipping, whilst their availability was limited with other duties, that additional available resource could help during busy periods or removal of larger fly tips.
3. Fly tipping of hazardous waste and non-household waste (asbestos, oils, caravans, large quantity soils/hard-core/mixed waste) where no suitable evidence was found, those were passed on to specialist contractors, each of whom held the relevant waste carriers licence and waste permits to transport and dispose of those items. Due to their specialism the turnaround for these removals invariably takes longer but normally no longer than 10-15 working days.
The Committee thanked Jon Hamlet (Street Scene Manager) and Matthew Leach (Technical Officer) for their input and noted their report with no comments.