I see a lot of people, especially us political candidates, reporting litter and fly-tipping and saying "we'll do something about it". Everyone says that. I can't think of a single political party or candidate who doesn't say it.
So, instead of just saying that, I am putting forward the first details of how I think the issue should be tackled. Take a look and let me know what you think of this plan.
1) A 'Trust Mark'.
Fly tippers are, very regularly, tipping other people's waste. A lot of people are unable to get to Gerpins Lane, or find the Council's fee is too high so they turn to Facebook market place and hire someone on the cheap. What they don't know is where their waste will be taken. Few also seem to know that they can be fined if the waste is linked to them. Many small businesses are caught out by rogue tippers like this, who offer a 'cheaper service'.
Part of the answer to this is a 'trust mark', issued by the Council.
The Environment Agency issues commercial waste licences and maintains a register of waste carriers, brokers and dealers.
I'd like to see Havering Council issue a "Trusted By Havering" mark to local waste collectors. This way residents can know that their waste will be dealt with legally. Residents could look online to find if a tipper is licensed and a registration number could be displayed on the vans.
This protects the residents, and it takes business away from the rogue tippers.
I think we can also do more to drive the unlicensed tippers out of business.
2) Hall Of Shame
Croydon Council used to publish a list of people caught and fined for tipping. Their name and address (road name only) was published in a local council magazine along with a description of the crime and the fine.
I think this is a fantastic idea. We've got notice boards across Romford that could also host these.
We should look into the legality of this and propose a Havering Hall of Shame.
3) Address high prices of Council disposal
Disposal of 1-3 items, in Havering, costs £43 and then £11 for each additional item.
In Conservative run Wandsworth, where I've previously lived, this fee was £20 and then £8.90 an item. Meaning disposal was half the price!
Havering Council should look at ways to reduce this cost, in order to discourage people from turning to unlicensed collectors found on Facebook.
Yes, there is even more we can do. This is far from perfect. We'll need to look at better reporting, more surveillance, stronger fines etc. But I think we can also do more to drive the unlicensed tippers out of business.
What do you think of this plan?