Cllr Lisa Trickett, Cabinet Member for Clean Streets, Recycling and Environment, reflects on the latest fly-tipping statistics nationally, which were published by Defra recently…
Mention the word fly-tipping to anyone, and you are likely to provoke a mixture of emotions from anger to concern to despondency.
Whenever I see a pile of illegally dumped rubbish, I feel exactly the same.
However, some of the emotion attached to this is partly as a result of perception versus reality – so that’s why I thought it was important to try and address some of the myths, using the facts and figures that relate to the issue in Birmingham.
In 2013/14, according to official Defra figures, there were 16,186 reported cases of fly-tipping in the city. This fell to 14,203 a year later and for 2015/16 it was down to 12,348.
Last year, we also carried out a detailed analysis of rubbish reported to us as fly-tipping and the findings were very interesting.
Roughly, a quarter of all reported fly-tips are actually legitimate, paid-for, bulky waste collections that we are in the process of going around to collect at the point they are mistakenly reported to us by well-meaning community-minded citizens.
Almost half (49 per cent) of reported fly-tips were household waste in black bags, presented for collection on the wrong day.
Although we have wheelie bins in the city, some properties are exempt from having them due to access, storage and other issues.
Generally this is a problem linked to flats above shops and we are actively tackling this through engagement with residents and specific projects – for example we recently announced a striped sack pilot for some properties on the Soho Road to enable us to distinguish household waste from commercial waste where businesses do not have the trade waste arrangements they are legally required to have.
In summary, we recognise fly-tipping is a major concern, we have a zero tolerance approach, actively investigate cases, and will leave no stone unturned to bring those responsible for blighting our communities to justice.
If you spot anything, please report it to the council officially via https://www.birmingham.gov.uk/flytipping