‘Man and van’ social media ads investigated in fly-tipping crackdown
Liam Randall local democracy reporter
Council officials in Wrexham are set to investigate whether waste collectors who advertise their services on social media are involved in fly-tipping.
The plans to target “man and van” services form part of a proposed crackdown on people who dump rubbish in the county borough.
Last year, senior councillors backed proposals to buy cameras to catch fly-tippers in the act, as well as the introduction of fixed penalty notices of up to £400 for those found responsible.
It also placed a duty of care on householders to only give their rubbish to people who are authorised to dispose of it.
Wrexham Council has now revealed further plans to reduce littering and fly-tipping in the area, including looking into waste carriers who advertise their services online.
It follows the local authority recruiting an officer via the Welsh Government-funded Caru Cymru initiative to cut down on waste.
In a report, the council’s deputy leader David A Bithell said: “Keep Wales Tidy are working with all 22 local authorities across Wales on the biggest ever initiative to change behaviours and to eradicate litter and waste.
“Caru Cymru (a Welsh phrase meaning ‘Love Wales’) aims to inspire everyone to take action and care for their local area and environment.
“If we are to see lasting improvements in this area it is important that we achieve a change in culture.
“As part of the council’s behavioural change programme, an environment education and quality officer was appointed and commenced work in May 2021 delivering the Caru Cymru all-Wales programme.”
He added: “The council wants to inspire everyone to care for the environment, bring communities together to take action and work in partnership to keep litter off our public spaces.
“Lasting behaviour change is not just about clearing up, it is about stopping the problems from happening in the first place.”
Newly released figures show that 24 fixed penalty notices were issued by the authority for littering and fly-tipping in the 12 months leading up to January this year.
The total value of the fines amounted to more than £3,000, with 19 further cases currently awaiting a court date and 12 investigations still ongoing.
An action plan included with the report highlights other proposals to address environmental issues, including holding discussions with Coleg Cambria to resolve litter problems on Llwyn Isaf in the town centre.
Analysis is also being carried out to create a map of dog fouling hot spots in the area.
Cllr Bithell said awareness of environmental crimes had grown since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, with more people spending time outdoors.
He said: “During the health pandemic more people have utilised the local communities for their daily fresh air and exercise.
“This has undoubtedly increased people’s awareness of their local environment.
“This increased awareness has resulted in environmental crime being even more unacceptable and anti-social.
“Despite significant efforts by the council over many years, environmental crime, and particularly fly tipping and littering, remain an issue and an area of concern for Wrexham’s communities.”
The report will be considered by members of the council’s homes and environment scrutiny committee at a meeting on Thursday (March 17, 2022).
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