Spy technology to put a lid on fly-tipping

Wigan’s fly-tippers have been warned a new zero tolerance stance means officers kitted out with anti-terrorism style surveillance technology are out to catch them.

As the borough prepares to move to a three weekly bin collection rota, council officers are preparing a fresh crackdown on the nuisance crime.

Clean-up efforts cost the cash-strapped town hall a six-figure sum last year but a new education and enforcement team is being established to tackle fly-tipping.

The collection changes, designed to save the council £2m per year, have been criticised by some residents who believe they will exacerbate existing tipping problems.

But council bosses say new enforcement teams will be operating seven days a week for the first time and borough hot-spots will be prioritised with prevention measures.

Paul Barton, assistant director for environmental services, said: “There will be an educational process first and foremost.

“If you contaminate your bin you’ll get stickered, do it again and you’ll get a knock on the door.

“If it continues we’ll start an enforcement process. We’ll try to be one step ahead of the fly-tippers.

“Some of the camera technology we’re looking at is unbelievable, it’s anti-terrorism type technology, that’s the way it’s going. We’re going to adapt, that’s the type of approach we’re looking at.”

To allay concerns about food waste being left in black bins leading to a health hazard from flies and vermin, the council will advise households to dump leftovers into green bins that remain on a fortnightly pick-up calendar.

The original draft of the reforms planned for the green bin collection cycle to become less frequent during the winter months but this aspect has been scrapped as a result of public feedback, the town hall has said.

The new schedule comes into force in September having been approved by the cabinet last week.

Officers say evidence suggests other councils to have brought in three-week rotas do not see a rise in fly-tipping despite residents’ concerns to the contrary.

Mr Barton added: “Neighbouring councils haven’t seen a significant spike, but we’re ready for it. Because it is an issue in some parts of the borough.”

The zero-tolerance approach set for the borough comes as national law-makers have revealed their own tough measures with offenders facing being forced to take part in clean-up teams as part of community service sentences imposed by the courts.