Monday, February 27, 2017

Redbridge Rubbish Part I
– Fly-Tipping and Bulky Waste

Back in May 2014 the flagship policy of the new Labour administration was Let’s Make Redbridge Clean Again with a Free Bulky Waste collection service (previously it had been free only to pensioners and those on certain benefits) - the idea being it would reduce fly-tipping and the proverbial mattress on every street corner. So is it working?

Figures obtained from a reliable source at the Town Hall show a big increase in the number of Bulky Waste collections made by the council in the year 2014/15 (the year it was introduced), followed by another big increase in 2015/16, but seems to have fallen back somewhat in the current year – if we extrapolate the figure for the whole year it comes to about 13,110, but still way above what it used to be.

So, that part of the strategy is working but there is no corresponding decrease in the number of fly-tipping incidents. In fact there is a dramatic increase, and look at this year’s figure, which is only for 9 months. If we extrapolate that figure, fly-tipping has doubled in 3 years. However, there are a number of factors that may be skewing this data. What we think may be happening is this. If you monitor a fly-tip hotspot, as we do, we find that the pile increases daily until the council come to take it all away. So in fact there will be several, maybe a dozen or more individual fly-tips that will be recorded as one. Since the introduction of the Make Redbridge Clean Again campaign, and the Enforcement Team to go with it, these fly-tips are, we suspect, cleared more frequently so whilst the number of collections may be going up the actual number of fly-tips may not, or not by as much. We don’t really know from this data, and our Town Hall informant says that there is no comparable data on Fly-tip tonnage per year, as it is not recorded separately.

What we do know is that a significant proportion of these fly-tips is not the proverbial mattress, but everyday household rubbish in black bags and large cardboard boxes, often left on street corners, by lampposts or trees or at Bring (recycling) sites.

There is no excuse for this. Reporting a missed collection is easy-peasy on the council website (link to report-it page). You can also report any fly-tipping and book a free bulky waste collection. Please spread the word, peeps.

Meanwhile an automated response on the Town Hall telephone number said: “We’re putting Redbridge First, and we’ve just racked up a century of fines (see our press release). We will pursue these untidy people with every resource we have, we are taking back control”.

Next up Waste reduction, recycling and composting …. Stay tuned.


  1. but if you report a missed rubbish collection on the council website don't you just get a message saying the report has been dealt with and they just leave the collection of missed rubbish until the next collection date?

    1. Can't say I have any direct experience of this, not having had a missed collection. I do know that fly tipping reports are dealt with in a day or two.

    2. Can't speak from recent experience but some years ago my wife reported a missed recycling collection and that was sorted out very quickly.