Refuse and street cleansing workers with Liverpool City Council are urging residents to be considerate with their waste following an upsurge in fly-tipping and in the city over the weekend.
The city council’s cleansing partner Liverpool Streetscene Services Ltd (LSSL) sent out extra crews over the weekend to help deal with illegally-tipped waste, which included white goods, furniture and discarded toys.
The council-backed free bulky item collection service Bulky Bobs has been suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak. At the same time, Merseyside’s Household Waste Recycling Centres have closed.
With the Easter Holidays approaching, cleansing and refuse teams fear that the city could be facing a perfect storm for fly-tipping and dumping as residents start spring cleaning.
LSSL crews have already suffered depleted numbers due to staff members having to self-isolate, with about a third of the workforce being unavailable. Since the coronavirus outbreak began LSSL says it has seen a 15 per cent increase in the amount of general waste being picked up by bin crews.
The service has therefore concentrated its efforts on removing household waste, recycling and clinical waste.
However, crews were called out to undertake extra shifts over the weekend to try and deal with carelessly discarded rubbish.
LSSL and council staff are also working hard to identify those behind the fly-tipping and have pledged to take strong action against anyone caught.
Fly-tipping and dumping of waste is a criminal offence which can lead to hefty fines and even a prison sentence.
The council, LSSL and other waste partners are urging residents to act responsibly and keep hold of their bulky waste until the coronavirus outbreak is over.
Mike Brown, who is LSSL’s Chief Operation Officer said: “Our refuse and street cleansing staff are working hard under difficult circumstances to manage the city’s waste. Unfortunately, we now have the actions of an irresponsible and selfish minority to contend with. Our crews have been out over the weekend but in the current climate, this sort of operation is unsustainable, which is why we are urging residents to work with us and be considerate about their waste.
“We would also urge the wider community to work with us and if they see any incidents of fly-tipping or dumping taking place, to report them via the council’s website straight away.”
Councillor Sharon Connor, who is the Cabinet Member for Highways and Regeneration, said: “Fly-tipping is not only an unsightly blight on our community, it is also extremely dangerous, particularly during this current crisis.
“Scenes of alleys blocked with waste or waste just dumped on the streets would make it impossible for emergency service vehicles to get access to people who need them. And with contamination at the forefront of everyone’s minds, this extra waste poses a constant threat to both our refuse workers and members of the public.
“The council has proved that it is willing to take tough enforcement action against anyone found fly-tipping or dumping, however we would rather work with our communities to make sure this doesn’t happen and that Liverpool remains clean and green.
“We know everyone in our city is pulling together during these unprecedented times and the message is a clear one – don’t let the minority turn our city into a dumping ground and help protect the key workers who keep our city clean.”
You can report fly-tipping via the council’s website: www.liverpool.gov.uk and search for ‘fly-tipping’.