New measures to tackle environmental crime

An environmental crime hotline and a crackdown on late night takeaways that don’t clear litter from outside their premises are among new measures set to be introduced to tackle blight in Liverpool. 

It is the latest in a series of measures being proposed following a request from Mayor Joe Anderson for action to make Liverpool cleaner and greener.

The hotline will enable residents to provide information in confidence to help the city council catch individuals involved in environmental offences such as flytipping, litter and dog fouling – and they may be eligible for a reward if it leads to penalties or charges. 

There will also be a crackdown on late night takeaways that don’t take steps to reduce the amount of litter around their premises – with persistent offenders having their license conditions reviewed and their opening hours reduced.

It follows a doubling in the number of staff tackling flytipping and cleaning alleyways, with four new teams working seven days a week. The work – focused initially on Kensington – is being followed up with pest control to tackle rodents, and education and enforcement activity to support residents to keep areas clean.

The enforcement team have also been supplied with hidden cameras to gather evidence in fly tipping hotspots and issue £400 fixed penalty notices to offenders.

Mayor Joe Anderson said: “We are absolutely determined to tackle the curse of litter and flytipping which blights some parts of our city and are in this for the long haul.

“We are doing our bit by investing more in clearing the backlog of rubbish in alleyways and following this up with support to help make sure people dispose of their waste sensibly. But on the flip side, we will not hesitate to take enforcement action where we are able to act on information, whether it is provided confidentially by members of the public or from investigations carried out by our staff.

“Our residents deserve to live in a clean and green environment and not have it trashed by residents and landlords who think it is someone else’s responsibility to clear up their mess. If someone provides us with information that leads to prosecution, it is right and proper that we provide some kind of reward for that if it is deemed appropriate.”

Other measures being considered by the Cabinet on Friday 7 July include:

• Working with schools to educate children and families about the importance of minimising waste and recycling more and introducing an annual competition with prizes for the best ideas

• Continuing to give environmental grants of up to £500 for community clean ups, flower planting and the creation of community gardens

• Visiting businesses to make sure they are adequately licensed for waste disposal

Funding is coming from efficiency savings made by creating a new arms-length company to operate refuse collection and street cleansing – Liverpool Street Scene Services Limited.

Councillor Steve Munby, Cabinet member for neighbourhoods, said: “This is a comprehensive plan to tackle the issues caused by litter and flytipping in Liverpool through a mix of clearance, enforcement and education.

“We are doing our very best to show we care for the area to inject pride back in to neighbourhoods and want that to be reciprocated by people helping us to keep the city tidy as well.”

Work is underway to clean and repair four foot alleyways to improve the storage of waste, as well as introducing larger recycling sacks, expanding weekly recycling services for city centre apartment blocks and piloting weekly recycling.

And a team of 14 environmental enforcement officers from Kingdom are issuing £80 fixed penalty notices to people caught dropping litter.

Street-cleaning currently costs Liverpool council tax payers £8.5 million per year and last year more than 6,500 tonnes of waste was collected from street cleansing rounds.

Earlier this year, two serial fly-tippers who were caught dumping tonnes of illegal trade waste, including asbestos, yards from a children’s dance school were jailed following a surveillance operation by the council and Merseyside Police.