20/20 Wanstead vision part XI

Overflowing bin in WansteadOverflowing bin in Wanstead

This year, the Wanstead Society celebrates its 20th anniversary. In the 11th of a series of articles, Chairman Scott Wilding offers his thoughts on the best way to tackle fly tipping.

Earlier this year, the Wanstead Society adopted the recycling site on Hermon Hill. This means we help Redbridge Council keep the area around the recycling bins clean and free from litter by reporting fly tipping and any illegal waste, as well as litter picking the general area.

Although our volunteers took this job as a way of helping to keep Wanstead clean, it has led to some mad, bad and dangerous examples of fly tipping and increased litter. So bad is the issue, not just here but across Wanstead, that we are reporting illegal fly tipping and increases in rubbish on a daily basis.

Fly tipping is illegal and destructive. Recently, on the playing fields at the end of Elmcroft Avenue, a huge amount of illegally dumped rubbish appeared, which left the landowner with a large clean-up bill and meant the field could not be used by local community groups.

To be fair, we cannot keep asking our council to pay to clean up the irresponsible behaviour of others. As a sitting magistrate, my view is the best way to combat this activity is through the courts and a successful prosecution. However, the council needs to allocate the resources to properly investigate these incidents and bring as many cases as possible to court.

Where the council can help is by increasing its street cleaning activity. Again, if people didn't drop litter we would all be better off, but we see so many instances when bins are full and haven't been emptied for some time. The population is growing and we need people to support our local High Street. But the larger the population, the more litter it creates and this means greater cleansing resources, which requires more investment.

At the time of writing, we understand that the street cleaners, now rebranded as 'street orderlies', have had a change of rota, which means they work a four-day on, three-day off, 12-hour shift pattern. We wish the street orderlies good luck with their new rotas and hope it works for them, as well as the wider community.

Finally, a reminder that the Wanstead Society Clean Up Our Neighbourhood Team will be out again on 4 November for our bimonthly litter pick, starting on George Green from 9.30am. We hope you will be able to help, as this small group makes a big difference. "People stopped to thank us for our work and comment on the improvement to the look of the area, which makes you realise just what a difference it makes," said group coordinator Dan Slipper after the last litter pick in September.

The Wanstead Society is an independent, non-political organisation that works to protect, preserve and improve the local area. Membership is £10 per household per year. Visit wansteadsociety.org.uk

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