Bulky waste charge slammed as Newham named top 10 worst in UK fly-tipping count
PUBLISHED: 07:00 26 April 2018 | UPDATED: 15:05 30 April 2018
The bulky waste charge has come under fire after Newham was named one of the worst places in the country for fly-tipping.
Government data puts the borough in seventh place for the highest number of illegal dumping incidents in a top 10 list comparing local authority areas across the country.
There were 19,917 fly-tips from 2016 to 2017 with the council handing out 2,244 fines. Enfield was on top with 75,614.
The government figures from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) show Newham spent £1,361,916 clearing up, the sixth highest spend in the UK. Enfield hit the top spot again with £3,037,229.
Matthew Hooper, Newham’s enforcement chief, said: “It is not surprising the borough is in the top 10.
“Incidents are reported to DEFRA by each council. The level of reporting depends on each council’s commitment to record and deal with fly-tipping.
“Newham has committed resources, not only to accurately record, but to effectively enforce against fly-tippers, which is why we are top 10 for issuing fines.”
But Mahyar Tousi, Conservative Canning Town South candidate, blamed the bulky waste charge for forcing people who can’t afford it to fly-tip.
“People tell me they already pay council tax so should not get charged,” Mr Tousi said.
He called for public points “a bit like recycling bins” where people can leave bulky waste and report it on an app.
However, a Newham Council spokeswoman said the bulky waste charge was introduced to help meet demand to keep streets clean at a time of “extreme” financial limits.
She added: “At a fee of �£20 to collect up to six large items, the charge is one of the lowest in London. Since the introduction of the charge in 2016 there has been no significant increase in fly tipping.”
Mr Tousi went on to claim that he was almost hit by a car near Custom House DLR station after it swerved to avoid a dumped mattress.
“It was a near death experience. I was lucky nothing happened,” he said before saying fly-tipping was one of the biggest issues people want to talk about when he canvasses.
The council blamed the high number of people moving in and out of the borough for driving up fly-tipping.
It pointed to its fly-tipping app, £1,000 tip off reward and fine increases as evidence it was tackling the problem along with news of 19 successful court prosecutions in 2016-17 and 23 in 2017-18. It said since 2016 647 £400 fines had been issued with 83 per cent paid.