Over 5,000 Fines Issued in Wandsworth Litter Crackdown

Only small proportion for more serious fly-tipping offences

Enforcement Officer investigating a flytip in Wandsworth

Wandsworth Council have issued over 5,000 fines as part of their crackdown on littering and fly-tipping.

Newly released figures show that 5,099 on-the-spot fines have been given out to individuals and businesses since March 2017.

However just of these fines 174 were given to individuals found to be responsible for more serious fly-tips. More than 1,300 were handed to people who had either thrown litter from a moving vehicle or involved businesses that blocked pavements with their commercial waste.

The Council say that the most recent Government figures show that their efforts are yielding results. The latest statistics published by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) show that despite being inner London’s largest borough and also its most populous, Wandsworth accounted for less than 1.2 per cent of all fly-tips across the capital’s 33 boroughs.

The council employs a litter squad whose job is to investigate fly-tips and issue fines to offenders.

Wandsworth’s parks police also play a role in tackling and investigating incidents that occur in parks and open spaces.

One of the council’s priorities is to persuade residents not to employ “cowboy” waste collectors who are thought to be responsible for some of the worst cases witnessed recently. These criminals usually drive around residential areas looking for homes that are being refurbished or cleared. They will approach the owner and offer to take “junk” away for a cut price rate. But instead of taking it to a proper waste disposal site and paying the appropriate fees, they simply dump it somewhere nearby – often in parks or other open spaces – leaving taxpayers to foot the clean-up bill.

In these cases it is not just the fly-tipper who is committing a crime – the householder who paid them to take their waste away is also liable under the law.

The maximum penalty that can be imposed by the courts following conviction for a serious fly-tip offence is an unlimited fine and/or a prison sentence of up to five years.

Residents wanting bulky items collected can call the town hall on (020) 8871 8558 or book it online.

The council will remove waste for what the describe as a modest fee. If households choose a licensed private contractor instead they must make sure they get a proper receipt.

People having work done on their properties should always check with their builders and any other contractors precisely how they will be disposing of any waste materials. They should be extremely wary of people knocking on their doors unannounced and offering to take away their rubbish.

Anyone with information about rubbish being dumped should telephone (020) 8871 6396 or email flytipwitness@richmondandwandsworth.gov.uk. All information will be treated in confidence.

July 9, 2018