Online Reporting System Blamed for Borough's High Fly-tipping Rates

Council says app means people being more proactive helping clean up streets

Two men were caught on CCTV dumping a mattress in Shepherd's Bush
Two men were caught on CCTV dumping a mattress in Shepherd's Bush in 2018. Picture: Hammersmith and Fulham Council

Hammersmith and Fulham Council has credited the success of its Report It app for the borough’s streets becoming cleaner.

Last month, the council received results of an annual survey that measured the cleanliness of neighbourhoods from Sands End to White City.

The survey by consultancy WYG involved inspections of hundreds of stretches of road that were randomly selected.

At the end of it, the council received a percentage score to indicate how much litter was found. The lower the score – the cleaner the area.

The 2019-20 survey gave Hammersmith and Fulham a score of 2.03 per cent, down from 4.55 per cent in 2018-19, and 5.43 per cent in 2015-16.

Last month, the Department for the Environment and Rural Affairs released data suggesting Hammersmith and Fulham has high levels of fly-tipping – 16,800 cases in 2018-19 – compared to neighbouring boroughs. Kensington and Chelsea had 6,800 in 2018-19 and Ealing had about 15,000.

The council claims this high volume of fly-tipping reports was actually owed to the growing number of people who are reporting cases via its Report It app.

A shopkeeper was fined for dumping this pile of rubbish in Ravenscourt Park in 2017. Picture: Hammersmith and Fulham Council

Having launched in 2012, the app has 9,527 registered users, double the number in 2015.

A council spokesman said: “The official inspections are clear that our streets are among the cleanest in London. This is backed-up by verified figures.

“What these figures show is that we have great, engaged residents in our borough who are rightly quick to report fly-tipping on the streets.

“We have made it as easy as possible for them to do that, via our Report It app. Our contractors also proactively report any fly-tips they see on their rounds. That’s why our figures appear to be high.”

Street cleaner Lazarus Eliodore won an award in 2016 for his work. Picture: Hammersmith and Fulham Council

Last year the council said it “carried out 33 prosecutions” against fly-tippers in the last three years. And in January 2019 it increased fly-tipping fines to £400.

“Fly-tippers need to know their actions have consequences, and that we will be on their case,” the spokesperson said.

The council was asked if it could provide information on which parts of the borough are worst and least affected by fly-tipping, but it refused.

Owen Sheppard - Local Democracy Reporter

March 13, 2020


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