‘I hate living in this dirty borough’: Redbridge Council urged to do more about fly-tipping ‘epidemic’
PUBLISHED: 07:00 02 August 2018
The council needs to get a grip on fly-tipping.
That is the message neighbours are sending Redbridge Council about the scourge of illegally dumped waste blighting the borough’s streets.
Father Gareth Jones – parish priest at St Mary the Virgin Church, Ilford for the past eight years – said fly-tipping is the worst he has ever seen it.
With neighbours, Father Jones has spearheaded a social media campaign to encourage the council to engage with them on the issue.
On public reporting of fly-tipping, Father Jones said: “It’s really frustrating. There are residents who want to engage with civic pride. The council encourage people to, but you don’t feel backed up.
“You are emailing into the ether.”
A spokeswoman said the council understood it needed to change how it provided feedback to people reporting fly-tipping and was changing its process.
Father Jones suggested there were two types of fly-tipper – those who don’t know the rules and professional criminals who actively dump rubbish. He reported raw meat being left regularly in South Park, Seven Kings, and a family who woke to see a severed goat’s head dumped outside their home.
“It’s absolutely awful and having a real impact on people’s quality of life,” he said.
City worker Deepak Kashyap, who lives off Cranbrook Road, Barkingside, said the problem in the area is increasing daily.
“We want our area to look nice, but it’s not going to happen because of the fly-tipping. There should be heavier fines. The police and council can’t be everywhere.
“As residents we need to recycle and use the facilities around us more. If we had a closer knit community working together that would help,” he said.
Redbridge’s spokeswoman said the most the council can fine by law is £400.
She added: “In cases of serious offences of fly-tipping or repeat offenders we can take the case straight to prosecution in a criminal court. In court a magistrate can issue a fine of up to £50,000, a criminal record and in some cases a custodial sentence.
“Our waste and recycling policy is currently in the process of being reviewed.”
Aphrodite Jordanou of Seven Kings, said: “Ilford and Seven Kings is the most littered area I know. I hate living in this dirty borough.”
And Khalid Sharif said Fullwell Avenue was used as a dumping ground and that he didn’t envy the job ahead of his ward councillors.
He added that his family – who have lived in the area for 50 years – had never seen it so bad.
“It’s about more than just cleaning up though. It’s about civic pride. It’s upsetting to see [fly-tipping] every week. It’s just disgusting to be honest,” Mr Sharif said.
Naielah Syed, of Seven Kings, set up a litter picking group with neighbours fed up with waste on their streets.
“Our children are constantly walking through this litter on a daily basis – hence why us residents said enough is enough,” she said.
There were 16,605 illegal dumpings recorded in Redbridge between April 2016 and March 2017, costing council tax payers £298,629.
Council leader Cllr Jas Athwal said: “Residents are tired of people irresponsibly dumping their rubbish on our streets and so are we. Our message is clear, we do not tolerate fly-tipping in Redbridge and we will not hesitate to prosecute and fine those who harm our borough.”
Cllr John Howard, cabinet member for civic pride, said: “Fly-tipping is incredibly damaging to our environment and costs the council thousands of pounds to clear up.
“It is hard to understand why people consider it acceptable to dump rubbish and want to risk paying a £400, especially when they can get bulky waste collected for free.”
In the capital fly-tipping has increased at twice the national rate. There were more than 366,000 reported incidents in the last financial year. Local authorities in London spend £18million a year dealing with the problem, according to Keep Britain Tidy.