The Panel received a report which provided an update on the work being done to meet Borough Plan commitments around reducing fly tipping in the borough. The report was introduced by Beth Waltzer, Community Safety, Enforcement & Waste Manger and Brian Ellick Head of ASB & Enforcement. The report was included in the agenda pack at pages 11-22. The following arose during the discussion of this agenda item:
a. The Panel questioned whether the amount of fly tipping increased in the second week of the waste collection cycle and queried the extent to which fly tipping was partly caused by people’s black bins being full. In response, the Cabinet Member for Transformation and Public Realm Investment advised that Haringey still undertook weekly collections for recycling, whilst many other boroughs did not. It was estimated that 80% of the waste collected in the borough was able to be recycled and that there was more work to be done to educate residents about what items could and could not be recycled.
b. The Cabinet Member set out that there was no data to support the link between flytipping with bin collection cycles. The areas where this was most likely to be a factor was areas with high concentrations of HMOs and the Panel was reassured that enforcement officers monitored these areas and would liaise with HMO landlords to increase bin capacity if that was required.
c. The Panel sought assurances about how the Council could better educate residents about collection times. In response, the Panel was advised that the Council had a rolling cartoon on Facebook that provided key information about what items could be recycled and that some external funding had been secured to do this. The Cabinet Member acknowledged that it was a confusing landscape, with different boroughs able to recycle different items. It was also acknowledged that some people would never be engaged with recycling their waste properly.
d. The Cabinet Member advised the Panel that the team was undertaking some work with Birbeck to undertake a behaviour study of HMO residents. The Panel was also advised that the government changes being introduced in 2024/25, such as a return deposit scheme, would change the whole recycling landscape.
e. The Chair of the LCSP commented that walking down Green Lanes, it was easy enough to ascertain which were the problem properties as they were the ones with overflowing bins. It was suggested that these properties should be targeted and that the Council should adopt a firm approach with these problem properties. It was suggested that asking landlords to have a small notice board at the front door of their properties which set out the waste collection arrangements would likely help. In response, officers advised that as part of the HMO licensing process they were able to mandate conditions on the license about ensuring that landlords properly informed their tenants of waste collection arrangements.
f. The Chair of the LCSP welcomed the introduction of black boxes in Green Lanes and commented that they had worked well so far. The Panel requested that the boxes were cleaned regularly to prevent them smelling. In response, the Cabinet Member acknowledged that there was provision in the budget to ensure that these were cleaned regularly.
g. The Panel also suggested that some consideration be given as to where these were located in relation to restaurants and with a view to existing street clutter being removed if needed. In response, the Cabinet Member commented that they tried not to locate the black boxes outside restaurants and health centres and that they had also had a series of meetings with traders in Green Lanes to agree the best locations for these.
h. The Chair enquired whether black boxes could also be located in areas of high population density as well as flats above shops. In response the Cabinet Member suggested that this was a possibility but that she believed that it was important to understand the reasons behind why bins were overflowing and whether there were potentially bigger issues at play, on a case by case basis.
i. The Cabinet Member also advised that Haringey was ensuring that waste storage was a consideration at the planning stage for new developments in the borough.
j. The Chair commented that there had been a real improvement in relation to waste and recycling issues in the borough and that, in her opinion, Haringey was looking a lot better than some other London boroughs.
That the Panel noted the performance to date and the progress against Borough Plan commitments.