Agenda item

Presentation by Ady Selby, Assistant Director Commercial and Operational Services, regarding fly-tipping across the district.



Members heard from the Assistant Director of Operational & Commercial Services, with a presentation on the issue of fly-tipping. He stated it was a wide area for operational services that touched on the well-being and safeguarding of residents.


The presentation showed rates of fly-tipping across previous years, as well as the current data available. There had been a significant increase in the last year, which was a national trend, perhaps due to people spending a lot of time at home and clearing their waste. Additionally, people had been out and about more and reporting what they saw, as well as the impact of household recycling centres being closed or running limited opening hours.


The types of fly tipping were not always investigable, such as tyres, clinical waste and building waste. Members heard that the cleansing staff would undertake the clean up and engage with enforcement staff if there was an identifiable evidence.


Members had enquired whether a reduced charge for the bulky waste service would impact on rates of fly-tipping. A recent BBC investigation had found no link between rates of fly tipping and free bulky waste. Statistics showed less than half of the fly tipping could be picked up with the bulky waste service. Members heard there was a report going to the Prosperous Communities Committee in November regarding the bulky waste service.


The Council’s reactive service would normally pick up fly tipping within 48 hours, this had been maintained despite pressures over the last year. The team had won awards and was working closely with the new CRM system to ensure customers received feedback on their reported issues.


In terms of reducing fly-tipping, the ‘SCRAP’ campaign was being run through partners at Lincolnshire Waste Partnership but West Lindsey was the only District that had undertaken ‘days of action’. The principles of the campaign were to publicise responsible actions when people disposed of their waste.


Members heard that, with regards to enforcement, the council worked with partners such as Lincolnshire Police, the Environment Agency and VOSA on days of action and they were looking at restarting these in the coming year. An example was given of 109 vehicles stopped with 72 searches, 23 waste licences produced and 5 fixed penalty notices issued.


Additionally, household waste recycling centres were now fully open with no booking systems. Whilst it was difficult to evidence that fly tipping was related to these centres being closed, it could only be a good thing that they were now open.


The environmental crime partnership had been set up in 2020 to bring all agencies together, with West Lindsey fully engaged in the process. The preference was for the use of fixed penalty notices as court cases tended to be convoluted and time consuming unless used for the bigger fly tipping cases. The council was also lobbying government to make the court process easier.


It was also explained that cameras could be used in hot spots, with deployable cameras complementing the fixed ones. In the last year 24 fixed penalty notices had been issued and the team were investigating how to respond faster to reports of fly-tipping as well as the improved use of enforcement powers.


Members discussed issues of fly-tipping they had come across in their areas. There was support for increased fines or more stringent action, with recognition that there needed to be more action from the Government.


Members sought more detail regarding penalty notices issued and specific data, with a request for comparison across other areas. This would be included in future reports. There was discussion as to how other counties had managed their waste recycling centres and whether they had seen the same level of fly-tipping. Members also heard that there was continued pressure for neighbouring counties to reach a cross-county agreement for residents to be able to use waste recycling centres outside of their areas.


There was challenge to the county policy for use of the recycling centres, such as size of trailer versus size of car, with the environmental impact of such policies being of significant concern.


Members further discussed the cost implications of fly-tipping and whilst it was not always possible to reclaim costs, the team did work collaboratively with victims of fly-tipping on their land for the best way to resolve it. With regards to the benefits of CCTV, it was acknowledged to be one option, although there was the risk that perpetrators would simply move to other locations.


The Chairman thanked the Assistant Director for the detail provided in the presentation. It was suggested that it would be useful to look at other similar rural areas and ascertain how they dealt with this issue, this could also be included in a future report.


With discussed having come to a conclusion, the Committee supported the commission of a report into this matter, with reference to the points raised at this meeting, to be presented to the Prosperous Communities Committee.


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