The council is getting tough with people who dump rubbish on the streets after new figures show that more than 5,000 on-the-spot fines have been handed out to litter and flytipping offenders in just over a year.
Since the end of March 2017 a total of 5,099 fines have been issued to individuals and rogue businesses who’ve dumped litter or waste on the borough’s streets.
More than 1,300 of these penalties were handed to people who had either thrown litter from a moving vehicle or involved businesses that blocked pavements with their commercial waste.
And 174 were given to individuals found to be responsible for more serious flytips.
The council is determined to keep Wandsworth’s streets looking good and punishing those who commit this type of environmental crime.
The most recent Government figures show that the council’s efforts are yielding results. The latest official 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 flytips across the capital’s 33 boroughs.
The council employs a litter squad whose job is to investigate flytips 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 flytipper 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 flytip 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 at http://www.wandsworth.gov.uk/specialcollections.
The council will remove waste for 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. All information will be treated in confidence.