Four new teams to tackle flytipping and dumping are hitting the streets of Liverpool as part of a £1 million investment in tackling environmental crime.
The 12 environmental staff will be working seven days a week investigating, gathering evidence and removing flytipped rubbish in passageways, clearing unmanaged land and tackling blight in the worst areas of the city.
They are initially focusing on parts of Kensington in a project dubbed ‘Operation Cleansweep’, where they have cleared more than 90 tonnes of waste over the last three weeks.
The new teams will be cleaning alleyways three times a week, supported by pest control staff who are putting down bait in alleys and sewers to kill rodents. The work is being followed up with education and enforcement activity to support residents to keep areas clean.
It is one of a series of measures being introduced following a pledge by Mayor Joe Anderson to tackle the issue of environmental crime and those responsible.
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: “We have a particular problem in some areas of Liverpool with dumping, blighting particular neighbourhoods and causing misery for law-abiding residents.
“We know that dumped waste simply attracts more dumped waste, so by removing it and bringing our alleyways up to standard, we are doing our very best to show we care for the area to inject pride back in to neighbourhoods and educate people who are not presenting rubbish correctly.
“Everyone knows we have got far less money than we used to, but by no longer paying a private company to deliver street cleansing and refuse collection we have made savings which we are re-investing in tackling flytipping.
“The new teams effectively double the number of staff tackling flytipping, and will be able to respond at relatively short notice to problems that residents report to us.
“But we’re not letting people who dump off the hook and where we are given solid evidence of people dumping irresponsibly, we will take action. We have adopted a zero tolerance approach to litter and are punishing those who treat our streets as a dumping ground.
“We’re doing our bit to keep the streets tidy, and by introducing a further 200 larger litter bins across Liverpool and piloting an extension of street cleansing hours in the city centre. As part of that we expect people to help us keep the city tidy as well.”
Work is also 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.
Since March, the council has been working with Kingdom to crackdown on people dropping litter and so far they have issued around 9,000 fixed penalty notices – with the council’s share of the income reinvested in tackling litter, graffiti and fly-posting.
Street-cleaning currently costs Liverpool council tax payers £8 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.