Archived on 6/5/2022

Lewisham Council gets tough on fly tipping

11 Mar '22

From Lewisham’s recent newsletter comes good news of an effort to reduce fly-tipping in the borough - a problem many of us will recognise.

Of course a 1600% increase sounds impressive, but this means that in the prior 7 months there were only about 30 fines given out - no wonder fly-tipping has become such a problem!

Still, welcoming positive action on this issue, it looks like a number of signs have also gone up around the Forest Hill too:

11 Mar '22

That’s good news, but plenty more work needs to be done. We use the Love Clean Streets app every day and typically things like fly-tipping and grafitti are dealt with within a few days. Highly recommend everyone having the app installed, if you have a smartphone.

11 Mar '22

I’m glad they seem to be taking this seriously. But surely the best solution would be actually making waste removal in the borough easier? My relatives live in Southwark, and their dump is an entirely different set-up to the one in Lewisham. You can take just about anything to the cavernous purpose-built waste disposal building and deposit it for free, to be recycled. The Lewisham dump, on the other hand, is a joke. There are so many rules about what you can and can’t take (e.g. they don’t take any building/ DIY waste) and the people who work there treat you like a criminal for trying to responsibly get rid of your waste. The contrast couldn’t be more stark.

It’s the same with Christmas trees - we are one of only a handful of boroughs in London that charge people to arrange a Christmas-tree collection, or expect them to dump it at a pick-up point (really not particularly helpful when you don’t have a car). Lots of other boroughs do a collection for free.

So while I’m all for cracking down on fly tippers, criminalising the problem without actually fixing the upstream causes seems like a window-dressing policy that won’t actually change much.

Sorry for the rant… but we need more systematic changes from the council on this!

11 Mar '22

I think you make a good point, and it’s been mentioned here before that things like economically disposing of small amounts of DIY waste can be very difficult.

Some time ago there was a proposal of ‘community skips’ (see Community skips to reduce fly-tipping in Lewisham Borough) which - if not overran by fly-tipping themselves - may be part of a solution. However, I’m not sure what happened to that plan and can’t find anything about it now.

11 Mar '22

I always find my self using the Del Boy line to the staff at the Lewisham dump.

‘Did you sue them?’
‘The charm school’

11 Mar '22

There are lots of things that it is hard to dispose of, especially if you don’t have a car. That is not to excuse fly tippers at all but it would be great if it was easier to dispose of things responsibly.