Fly tipping more than doubled in Croydon since 2010

It is all very well Croydon Council warning of a £50,000 fine for fly tipping, but such a deterrent needs to be backed up by action

It is all very well Croydon Council warning of a £50,000 fine for fly tipping, as it does with its sign here, but such a deterrent needs to be backed up by action

The streets of Croydon are more rubbish now than they were a couple of years ago. That’s according to STUART KING, who has obtained the council’s own official figures

Since 2010, the number of fly tipping incidents reported to Croydon Council has risen by 150 per cent.

According to the council’s own figures, there were 11,149 incidents of fly tipping reported in 2012-2013. That’s the equivalent of over 30 episodes of illegal tipping every day of the year.  Since April this year, there has been another 5,878 incidents reported to and recorded by Croydon Council – which suggests that last year’s “record” is set to be broken.

Here are the council’s figures, supplied after I submitted a Freedom of Information request:

Fly-tipping spread sheet

Every single part of Croydon has seen an increase, with the amount of fly tipping more than doubling in 17 of the borough’s 24 wards. In West Thornton, where I am a member of the local Labour party’s action team, the number of fly tips has jumped from 194 in 2010 to 1,351 in just one year.

The casual dumping of waste and rubbish has reached epidemic proportions around Croydon

The casual dumping of waste and rubbish has reached epidemic proportions around Croydon

We are facing an epidemic of fly tipping in this borough.

Sadly for residents, Croydon Council has shown that it is not up to the job of tackling this problem.

The response to reports of fly tipping is slow and begrudging. Residents tell me they have reported fly tips promptly to the council, only to see a slow or non-existent response from their local authority. It is as if the council is shrugging its shoulders and walking away from the problem.

The problem is particularly acute in the north of the borough, where more than 60 per cent of Croydon’s fly tipping has occurred. I am delighted that Croydon North MP Steve Reed has recognised this problem and is to launch an independently chaired commission on the state of the streets to find out what’s gone wrong and what can be done about it.

The commission will take evidence from individuals, households and community groups to establish the scale of the problem with Croydon’s streets. They will then make recommendations for how the streets can be improved which Reed will deliver to Croydon Council later this year.

I encourage residents to submit their own experience and comments about the state of local streets – full information will be available on Reed’s website www.stevereedmp.co.uk.

In the meantime, Labour campaigners like myself will continue to press the council to recognise the extent of the problem, improve their response and start smartening up our streets. Croydon deserves better.

  • Stuart King was recently selected as one of the Labour candidates for West Thornton ward for next year’s council elections

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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5 Responses to Fly tipping more than doubled in Croydon since 2010

  1. I fully agree that the Council are slow to remove fly tipping and that is bad. However, the question that few people seem to be asking is why fly tipping occurs at all and who is doing it?

    I suspect that there two basic causes and both are down to cost.

    1) The Council charges residents to remove larger items and the residents either cannot be bothered to pay for (or organise) their collection or they simply cannot afford their charges.

    2) For commercial waste the Council charges a lot of money to dispose of waste and it is tempting (and a lot cheaper) for builders etc to simply dump their waste rather than pay those high charges.

    So why does the Council charge?

    Partly it is because the Council is broke. It is generally paying out more than it is receiving and is well on the way to a £1 billion debt. Ultimately we, as residents, will have to pay off that debt and we are paying interest on it now.

    So why is the Council paying out too much money?

    In the case of refuse it is because it is having to pay out Landfill tax, which is currently £72 per tonne and is due to increase by at least £8 per tonne each year. This is a tax that was imposed on all councils courtesy of the EU’s Landfill Directive. That same Directive sets the recycling targets which the Council has to meet and therefore the fines that the Council has to impose if you fail to recycle.

    Those recycling targets are also the reason why the Council requires us to have up to six containers for our rubbish. Most of the properties were not designed, and do not have the space, to accommodate those additional containers so residents have to leave them in their front gardens.

    So we have the situation that in order to meet EU recycling targets we have disfigured the look of our streets with containers of non-sympathetic colours, which therefore makes the street look bad, which then makes those streets a tempting location for fly tipping.

    So the real cause of fly tipping are EU policies (in this case the EU Landfill Directive) directly affecting the look of our streets.

  2. It’s simplistic (to say the least) to say that “the real cause of fly tipping are (sic) EU policies (in this case the EU Landfill Directive) directly affecting the look of our streets.”

    Visit other cities in the EU and you won’t find multiple bins outside people’s homes, nor will fly tipping be much in evidence.

    The real causes of flytipping in Croydon are, I would suggest, in fact

    – ignorant people who don’t know what to do / dirty people who don’t care about their neighbourhood
    – cheapskate contractors who care even less
    – council failure to provide easy and cheap / free ways to get rid of rubbish (for example, we used to have the free rolling rubbish service that local residents’ associations organised)
    – lack of enforcement action by the council
    – poor street cleaning and fly tipping removal (my recent complaints have so far been ignored, despite the Council’s promises and legal obligations

  3. Thank goodness for Arfur and some common sense.

    I was beginning to despair of the breakout of local electioneering a full eight-ish months before polling day.

    Steve Reed’s survey might well shed some valuable light on the causes of this anti-social habit, though I think Arfur has already fingered the main culprits. But any implication that Labour would do a better job than the Tories is dubious to say the least.

    The idea that it’s all the EU’s fault is surely beneath contempt. Peter, if you and your UKIP chums want to make an impression on the Croydon electorate you’ll need do much better.

  4. ndavies144 says:

    The only people to blame for fly tipping are fly tippers.

    There’s an paper here – http://www.ucl.ac.uk/scs/downloads/research-reports/flytipping-good-practice-guide – aimed at local authorities. It’s well worth a read, perhaps the council should dust off their copy.

  5. Walking down Church Street this evening, I saw that somebody had dumped a sofa outside the William Hill betting shop, by the litter bin.

    It wasn’t there when I walked up there on the way to work this morning. It must therefore have been dumped quite blatantly sometime during the day, when loads of people would have seen this happen. Perhaps it was even captured by the watchful eye of one of Croydon’s many CCTV cameras (there’s one just across the road).

    Will our pro-active Council and its contractors remove the obstruction, investigate how it got there and use the available evidence to catch the culprits – or will it just rot there?

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