Following an increaser in fly-tipping this year Brent Council is to create a 'Environmental Crime Prevention Team' to tackle graffiti and fly-tipping. There will be a refreshed focus on waste enforcement, dealing particularly with fly-tipping and business waste.
A report going before the One Council Overview and Scrutiny Committee on December 5th admits that one reason for the increase in fly-tipping is the 'council's new household waste collection arrangements that restrict the volume of waste that is collected'.
The council no longer collects additional sacks that are left next to the bins. They say 'this has led to residents dumping excess/uncollected waste on footpaths and near litter bins in some areas'.
A second reason is to do with the street cleansing cuts introduced last year. The report says that less frequent sweeps mean items are left for longer and more likely to be reported.
A third reason is increased commercial waste disposal charges which has led to 'dumping by unscrupulous trades who wish to avoid these charges'. The report notes that commercial waste disposal cots rise each year and 'can be particularly burdensome' for small and medium-sized businesses in difficult economic times.
If the 'no side collection' rule is causing more fly-tipping there is likely to be pressure from some quarters for this rule to be relaxed.
These impacts were predicted by campaigners at the time the new recycling system and street cleaning cuts were introduced last year.
The immediate impact of the £2m cut in street cleansing has been addressed through various measures including paying particular attention to known problem areas and 'bespoke' arrangements around very difficult areas such as Harlesden town centre. Veolia have now introduced a 'recycling pick-up of waste dumped in town centres which ensures a second additional early morning clearance in those areas. A concerted anti-litter campaign is being considered.
On a more optimistic note the council claim that the measures they have taken to increase recycling have resulted in an average of 45% for 2012-13 compared with 32% in the same period last year. The target is 60%.