Council taking 'zero tolerance' approach to flytipping as enforcement fine is heavily increased

Flytipping 1

An example of flytipping in Corbridge Crescent

Businesses in the habit of dumping illegal waste in Tower Hamlets face heavy fines after the council gave the green light to new flytipping penalties.

The decision to increase the fixed penalty notice (FPN) for flytipping to £400 from £80 – with no early payment option – was made at a meeting of the council’s Cabinet last week.

John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets, said: “We will be taking a zero tolerance approach with those who illegally dump waste because they think they can get away with it. Whether it’s a business or an individual, it is unacceptable behaviour.

“Flytipped waste is a blight on our borough and it is ultimately residents who have to pay the price of the costly collection of dumped rubbish on our streets. Although the focus will be on businesses as the worst offenders, we also want to encourage residents to take responsibility for their waste.”

Fly-tipping is a growing problem in Tower Hamlets, with the council spending more than £690,000 a year on the removal and disposal of illegally dumped waste. The number of reported incidents of fly-tipping has increased from 4,555 in 2015/16 to 9,228 in 2018/19.

The previous £80 fine – reduced to £50 if paid within 10 days – was the same penalty that was faced by those who dropped litter. The new levels reflect the more serious and costly nature of flytipping.

Councillor David Edgar, Cabinet Member for the Environment, said: “Most people take pride in their neighbourhood and as a council we are committed to working with residents and businesses to keep our streets clean.

“With the increased penalty I hope that any business or individual planning to dump waste on our streets will now think twice and consider the financial consequences of their actions.”

Some businesses in the borough had previously been issued with multiple £80 FPNs yet continued to flytip because it was cheaper to pay the fine if caught than to organise the lawful disposal of their waste.

This higher FPN will be used to target those repeat offenders, as well as other businesses. They will also be used in response to particularly serious incidents of flytipping. Money received from the fines will be spent on waste management, street cleansing and enforcement.

The fines are not expected to be used to target residents who have made honest mistakes in putting their domestic waste out for collection at the wrong time.

There will continue to be a focus on communication, education and advice to businesses about their duties and responsibilities regarding waste management. The council will also be working with landlords and residents, particularly those who rent or live in properties above shops without adequate provision for storage.

Posted on Thursday 6th February 2020