Planet Earth-style cameras used to catch out fly-tippers
Nicholas Thomas, local democracy reporter
An “encouraging” reduction in fly-tipping in one of the worst affected councils in Wales, has been partly attributed to the deployment of technology normally used to film wild animals.
Trail cameras are often seen in TV wildlife documentaries, when passing animals trigger the devices to begin recording.
But in Caerphilly, they are now one of the tools that council environment officers are using to catch people illegally dumping waste.
New figures show Caerphilly County Borough Council recorded the seventh-highest number of fly-tipping incidents in 2022/23.
But the 1,754 reported incidents in that time mark an 11% improvement on the year before, as well as the best performance in the past decade.
Chris Morgan, the council’s cabinet member for waste, told the Local Democracy Reporting Service it was “encouraging to see the rate of fly-tipping in the Caerphilly County Borough decreasing, and I would like to thank our staff and our communities for playing their part in this reduction”.
“As an authority we are constantly looking into new ways to trying to deter people from disposing of their waste illegally,” Cllr Morgan added. “This involves working with our communications team to encourage proper disposal of waste via social media, working with local communities and investing in new equipment such as CCTV and trail cameras to help alleviate the issue and aid investigations.”
The new Wales-wide fly-tipping figures also reveal the huge sums councils have to spend on clearing up illegally-dumped rubbish.
In Caerphilly alone, the council paid £119,000 to clean up fly-tipping last year, and in the past decade spending has totalled a whopping £1.47 million.
Household items were by far the type of waste most commonly fly-tipped last year in the county borough, making up the majority (58%) of all reported incidents.
And the most common areas for people to illegally dump their waste were alleyways (33% of cases), council land (30%) and roadsides (24%).
Cllr Morgan said: “We would ask everyone to remain vigilant and if they see a fly tipping incident, please report it so we can continue to investigate and take action against those who have no respect for the environment.”
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