Fast-food chains asked for help after rise in fly-tipping in Telford

Councillors are working with fast food chains to reduce the amount of waste dumped in Telford after fly-tipping surged during the coronavirus lockdowns.

Fly-tipping “placed pressure on limited council resources” during the spring 2020 lockdown as well as “significantly impacting” the environment, according to a council report.

Paul Fenn, Telford and Wrekin Council’s public protection group manager, saida fly-tipping strategy, nearing completion, builds on how the authority’s contractors had to respond and adapt to last year’s increase, which mirrored a national trend.

His report updated the Communities Scrutiny Committee on the work of the Neighbourhood Enforcement Team, which tackles illegal parking and anti-social behaviour as well as environmental crime.

Mr Fenn noted how summer 2020 saw an increase in littering “with evidence particularly from fast food restaurants” and led to a partnership with a major chain to share data, highlight hotspots and target litter-picks.

“Much in the same way as other regulatory services of the council, the Neighbourhood Enforcement team works to protect and support our residents and businesses,” he wrote.

“Environmental crime affects our communities, businesses and natural environment. It continues to be a problem across the borough and ranges from fly-tipping, littering and dog fouling to fly-posting, domestic and business waste offences as well as abandoned vehicles.

“Fly-tipping has become a national problem across the country as well as the borough.

“Following the first national lockdown in 2020, a significant amount of fly-tipping was experienced with our enforcement and grounds and cleansing teams both responding and developing ways to tackle this increase.

“This increase not only placed pressures on limited resources but also has significant impact on our environment.

“The increase in fly-tipping has resulted in the council rethinking how to tackle fly-tipping going forward.

“A fly-tipping strategy is in the closing stages of development. Once complete and approved this will set out how the authority will work with partners to tackle fly-tipping across the borough.

“Along with increased media coverage on enforcement activities, we are currently finalising dedicated web pages to host details on our enforcement activity. These will include appeals for information and recent successes to engage our communities in our enforcement activity.”

Turning to littering, Mr Fenn wrote: “The summer of 2020 also saw a significant increase in littering across the borough, with evidence particularly from fast food restaurants.”

Councillor Richard Overton, the deputy council leader and its cabinet member responsible for enforcement, and his colleague Lee Carter, who holds the neighbourhood services brief, wrote to all drive-through restaurants that June “to enlist their support in reducing the amount of street litter”.

“This has resulted in an evolving partnership project with a large restaurant chain with outlets across Telford,” Mr Fenn writes.

“This includes sharing of data to highlight litter hotspots near to their restaurants, which, in turn, is supported by litter picks undertaken by their staff.”

The restaurant chain in question has not yet been named.

The committee will discuss the report on Tuesday, October 19.

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