Reports of illegal dumping rise seven-fold since 2016/17, reports James Cracknell
Reports of fly-tipping in the borough have risen seven-fold in just four years, new data show, as Enfield Council pledges to do more to tackle the problem.
The council has come under increasing pressure to clamp down on illegal fly-tipping incidents that have become a common sight in Enfield. But while the pandemic has been blamed for exacerbating the problem nationwide, figures obtained by the Dispatch via the Freedom of Information Act reveal the problem locally has been worsening for several years.
Reports of fly-tipping in Enfield have risen every year for the last four years. In 2016/17, there were 1,226 reports made, while in 2020/21, there were 8,719 – a rise of more than 600%. On average last year it means fly-tipping reports were being made almost every single hour.
The cost of dealing with fly-tipping incidents has also risen significantly. In 2016/17 the council spent £694,000 clearing up dumped waste, but in 2020/21 this rose to £1.25million.
Last month Conservative group leader Joanne Laban called for the council to reinstate free bulky waste collections for residents. The new cabinet member for environment, Rick Jewell, has since pledged to do exactly that, while also ordering a review of street cleaning in Enfield “having listened to residents’ views on the increase in levels of dumping and fly tipping”.
Another demand from oppositions groups is for the council to reinstate weekly bin collections, but this is not thought to be under consideration. Cllr Jewell said: “I am passionate about keeping our streets clean and I cannot accept the levels of fly-tipping and dumping currently being experienced – there is work to be done.
“Residents continually tell us that their main concern is the condition of our streets and they want us to do more about it.
“We’ve listened to what they’ve said and we’re going to find ways to improve the street cleaning service and make it more responsive.
“Despite the challenges of the pandemic we have remained prudent in our spending over the last 18 months, enabling us to invest in tackling this resident priority, which is a blight on Enfield.
“We are committed to making Enfield the cleanest borough in London. We want residents to play their part by reporting all fly-tips and giving us any information they have on the criminals who dump rubbish on our streets.
“If we work together to dispose of our own rubbish responsibly, we can continue to build an Enfield that everyone is proud to call home. That is why we’re looking at scrapping fees for bulky waste collections to help everyone do the right thing.”
The council maintains that although fly-tipping rates have risen in Enfield, they still remain comparable to other parts of London. In 2019/20 – before both the pandemic and the start of fortnightly bin collections – Enfield ranked below the London average for fly-tipping incidents.