Harringay online

Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

We all know of a spot we walk past locally which is a favoured rubbish dumping spot.

There's one at the bottom of the road on which I live - the dumps are rarely that big, but they’re persistent. Usually, I'll spend less then a minute to snap a picture with the Haringey report-it app and zap off a report. 

Some people question the wisdom of this. 'Doing that', they say, 'just encourages people to dump. If they know it will be collected they'll dump again'. 

I can't say that I disagree with their logic. My actions may well have that effect. But, on the other hand it's also probably true that many of the people who do dump, don't  give their actions a second thought. They just want to be rid of their mess and make it someone else's problem. If their dumped rubbish wasn't cleared and instead it piled up, I'm sure they'd just tut and mutter about how useless the Council is. Most wouldn't amend their behaviour.

The Broken Windows theory also holds true - uncleared rubbish attracts more rubbish.

So, on balance, I decide to carry on reporting. However, I can't help thinking that there must be a better way to focus on trouble spots. 

I asked the Council how many times they've been called to collect rubbish at the bottom of my road over the past couple of years. I got their answer this week and it turns out it's somewhere between every day and every other day, 21 times a month on average. 

Given the degree to which Council decisions are driven by financial considerations these days, my thoughts had been running along the lines of working out the cost of collecting all this rubbish  and whether some sort of deterrence measure would work out cheaper.

However, on the issue of cost the email said "The cost of collecting dumped rubbish in the borough is included as part of the overall core contract cost. There is no separate payment to Veolia for collection of this type of dumped rubbish".

That gave me pause for thought. The implication of this answer is that, as things stand now, the Council has no financial interest in deterring dumping. It's good that responding to dumped rubbish reports are part of the contract with Veolia, but in contracting out dealing with the problem, I can't help feeling the Council has divested itself of a good part of its interest in solving it.

Now it's Veolia who have the over-riding interest in dealing with the issue and they're only likely to  consider it in the context of the lifetime of the current contract. Would they therefore be interested in deterrence measures? Maybe....if the sums were right.....maybe....

What might deterrence look like? I guess the first option would be designing out the attractiveness of a place for dumping. An alternative has to be some sort of punitive regime. We know that bad behaviour like driving in bus lanes is very well controlled by fines and whilst it's true that people don't wear licence plates, I wonder if this might also work for dumping.

Answers on a postcard.........

Tags for Forum Posts: dumping, rubbish

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Hugh, I was going to post a very similar question.

On the spot fines by plainclothes officials is the only one I can think of. Followed by posters showing photos of fines being issued, perhaps.

One of my pet peeves is that smokers don't appear to consider cigarette butts to be litter. Yesterday a van driver flung a lit ciggy barely a couple of feet in front of my daughter's buggy before driving off.

I'm also going to do what you do, by the way.

Also I'm considering tweeting to Veolia about this. In my experience big companies care a lot about public tweets...

Purple bags left out by Veolia encourage ALSO dumping. They're supposed to be picked up by 6PM each day but I have many photos of them not picked up well after 7PM.

It is normal everyday people that leave crap in the passage and that exceed the speed limit in their motor vehicles. Nobody cares.

As said Veolia itself leaves their purple bags around for days ... foxes then rip them apart and spread the rubbish around again! Their own system doesn't/isn't working ...

Another way is as in Edinburgh. Get rid of household wheelie bins and place a number of 1100 litre paladin bins along each road for rubbish & recycling options, taking away a car parking space for each one. Works in Edinburgh but who knows, maybe not here. :)

Sounds like an option but I wonder who will volunteer to have one outside their house. 

Yes, my thought as well. Volunteering might not be an option however but I guess objections could be raised. Certainly any bin emptying shouldn't happen during unsocial hours. The noise from emptying a 1100 litre bin full of glass bottles would be quite something! On the plus side the current slow & laborious system of emptying bins three times over for each and every household would disappear!

I was also thinking about the smell. 

Smell this! Rubbish from ripped open Veolia purple bags left behind by Veolia staff doing the (partial) pickup. Seriously poor service ...

There's a mattress or sofa or similar at the top of our road probably once a week on average. I usually report it using the app - partly because I'm sure the reports go towards various KPI somewhere, I think they were one of the metrics used to determine which areas were included in the selective landlord licensing scheme recently for example.

It's useful to know that Veolia don't get paid per collection. I did wonder about that. It hopefully means their drivers have an incentive to pick unreported things up if possible, if they notice them en route somewhere else - rather than wait for the report because then they get paid.

I think the solution might be more enforcement/stiffer penalties but that would probably require cctv at the end of every road, I know there's loads of cctv on major roads and town centres but it's not desirable in residential areas.

In terms of your "designing out" suggestion, modal filtering on Wightman Road would be a good start. The current road layout simply encourages anonymous rat running traffic and makes it easier to fly tip.

Some ideas from Scotland - https://www.zerowastescotland.org.uk/litter-flytipping/citizen-science - more focused on litter than fly-tipping but I wonder if it could be adapted somehow...?

Veolia may not charge per dumped rubbish collection but it’s likely the contract was negotiated with consideration to the extreme amount of flytipping that occurs in the east of the borough.

I think this is the thing I find most depressing about fly-tipping.  When you walk or drive through the streets in the western parts of the borough they are spotlessly clean.  It's not some council/veolia conspiracy either...

We are now in a situation where the borough has (beyond excess) the amount of people that its council can provide a quality service to, a high proportion of which pay no local tax or care less, as a result, without demographic rationality, our borough is now, and will always be a shithole.

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