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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

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Of course this is only part of the story. I've always found Haringey Veolia pretty efficient at responding to fly-tipping reports. So we really need some data that unpacks the extent to which Haringey may, in this case, be in part a victim of it's own efficiency. Might that be possible?

True but of course Veolia hold the contract for a hell of a lot of local,authorities, all with a basic, standard service offer so it would tend to even out the data across a large number of authorities. What would be really useful is tracking through the complaints to,find out which were justified and of those what action was taken.

I guess Veolia is one one variable. I'm just flagging up that there may be more to it than the stats suggest. Another variable might be the Love Clean Streets app which is no doubt reponsible for a significant percentage of fly-tipping reports. Haringey certainly isn't the only borough that use it, but not all London boroughs do. Only 52 boroughs use it nationwide. I'm just saying the data wants a little more understanding than just a knee-jerk reaction to a headline figure. However if things are as bad as the headline figure suggests, I'm prepared to kwetch with the rest of you!

My first thought was Love Clean Streets but when I checked online there were not that many reports.  So I don't know where the original data is from...

Nationally there was a database, Flycapture.  But a big issue was this was local authorities not updating it so there was no way of getting accurate data.  This has been replaced by a database called WasteDataFlow.  I no longer work in the field so have no idea if it suffers from the same problem. http://www.wastedataflow.org/

Well an obvious first step would be to ask Haringey for a copy of the FOI response to ITV that their report must have been based on.
Well if Haringey work in the same way as my Council, Report It is hosted internally and then reports are submitted to Veolia. Extracting data from Council hosted systems is likely to be much easier than getting raw data from Veolia who are not directly subject to FOI. They will have FOI clauses though.
I've submitted a request for a copy of the data sent to ITV. In theory they should be able to provide it immediately as there is no work involved in gathering data. But it doesn't always work quite like that.

It's hard to tell from the stats if the problem's getting worse or if Haringey (I use the spelling advisedly) is a victim of its own success in reporting and cleaning-up. 

For no obvious reason, my road (not on the Ladder) has become a fly-tipping hot-spot in the last year in a way it never used to be, with endless mattresses, broken furniture and general rubbish dumped on a particular high-visibility corner. Veolia have always responded quickly to online reports, but it's a dilemma - if the rubbish is removed, perhaps it just encourages more tipping, but if it's left untouched then it's ugly, smelly and potentially dangerous.

Charging too much for council bulk collection is obviously bad news, but I suspect will have little impact on fly-tipping as such: the people doing it are never going to use the council scheme in the first place (they'd rather dump rubbish in the middle of the night, making it someone else's problem) so the charge is irrelevant.

Encouraging greater local pride as a counter might be more effective if there appeared to be more evidence of the council itself dealing with the perpetual commercial rubbish problems in Green Lanes, where you'd hope they'd take action against business culprits. Years ago, in another borough, my office was visited by council inspectors who had opened illegally-discarded rubbish bags and identified the specific premises the contents had come from; as it turned out it was the landlords who were to blame, not my office, but there was a threat of prosecution as a result. Presumably LB Haringey can't afford this level of scrutiny today, hence the constant mess on Green Lanes pavements.

As someone who has worked in waste management and environmental enforcement in the past, I can tell you the evidence says clearing it quickly make it less likely for it to happen again.  Maybe not much less likely though... However I have noticed when bags are put out for collection people are far more likely to throw litter on top of them than to put their litter in the bin right in front of them.

The council I worked for (still do, but in a less smelly role!) charges for some bulk waste collection depending on what it is.  The people who call and ask about this are definitely not the same people who dump it on the neared council estate.

As for office waste, it is the waste producer's responsibility to dispose of it legally.  Leaving it up to the landlord opens you up to all kinds of trouble.  Any office having such an arrangement should make sure there is written confirmation from the landlord to take responsibility for waste.  But legally you should be able to produce a waste transfer note showing your waste has been legally transferred to a licensed waste carrier.

Householders have the same responsibility, meaning you could be liable if you do not dispose of your waste in the way you have been told to by the council.

Happy to answer any questions here about the law, enforcement and why more people aren't fined for dumped mattresses (hang on that's easy - no one puts their name and address on a dumped mattress).  I am not employed by Haringey and no longer work in waste but prefer to keep the identity of my employer private.

Sarah - Interesting point about the efficacy of speedy removal, though I have to say it doesn't seem to be reducing the rate of dumping in my road!

My point about council intervention/prosecution was a more general one, really. The historic situation I described arose because the office I was in was a sub-let of the main premises and their waste management was sometimes sloppy; we did what we were supposed to do but they didn't. I only used this as an example to suggest that, in contrast, LB Haringey doesn't appear to deal well with commercial waste, which is always, always, visibly lying around in Green Lanes, where it could presumably be traced to specific shops or offices if the council had the staff to do so. Civic pride is more likely to be generated if the council itself appears to be taking a firm line in areas where it can make a difference.

And your comment about rubbish bags attracting more rubbish is spot-on: the overflowing bin by the bus-stop in St Ann's opposite the Salisbury is a prime example, with bags piling up almost every day, "enhanced" by more and more dropped rubbish, until eventually Veolia take it all away - at which point, the cycle repeats itself. It's tempting to blame the parade of shops there as the instigators, but probably only CCTV would reveal the truth.

More enforcement should help - people in the borough I work for have definitely heard of the fines!!

Shops are pretty easy to enforce against but it does require an officer going through the bags they put out and taking photos for evidence.  A shop copy of the till receipt, a restaurant menu, polystyrene boxes used to deliver fish with the business name written in permanent marker, food waste matching the restaurant's menu (may be more difficult on Green Lanes where the restaurants all have the same food)... the best evidence is any mail that has been opened and discarded  (unopened mail, it can be argued that it was delivered to the wrong business)

Yes, this is exactly what I was thinking of, but I suspect Haringey is too over-stretched  and under-resourced to do this to the necessary level or just doesn't see it as a priority. Maybe the council does regularly fine Green Lanes shops for the rubbish they appear to discard, but that's not what it looks like on the stretch between the Salisbury and the Arena. Encouraging local people to take pride in their area and (perhaps) either not fly-tip or identify those who do might be more likely if people saw Haringey vigorously enforcing a clean-streets policy on the main drag, but if the impression is that the council doesn't care or can't do anything about it, then ithere's not much of an example to follow. 



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