Sandwell Council has this month (March) launched a new group to oversee long-term solutions to tackling hot spots with significant fly-tipping, littering and very overgrown areas.
The Hot Spot Solutions Group will build on the successful work of the Environment Response Team in the Green Spaces Service, which over the past year has trialled a new way of different council services working together to resolve long-standing issues at sites that can’t be quickly or easily dealt with through routine cleaning or grounds maintenance.
More than 150 sites in total across Sandwell’s six towns were tackling during the trial which ran from January 2022 to February 2023 and showed how effective the multi-team approach can be, with very positive feedback from residents and businesses.
During the first nine months of the project alone, large amounts of waste were removed from 138 hot spot areas including:
- 233 tipper van loads of general rubbish
- 521 tipper van loads of green waste – of which 184 loads were woodchipped and reused in parks and shrub beds
The team has also made key walkways safer and more accessible. By February this year, the number of sites tackled had risen to 158.
The trial project showed that affected sites were often subject to multiple reports from the public or were linked to other issues.
Now the Hot Spot Solutions Group will further develop this multi-team approach, using data and evidence from residents, businesses, councillors and officer site visits to resolve issues, and aim to work with communities and partners to sustain improvements.
The group will help to tackle the root causes of the issues at sites that:
- Have embedded or repeated fly-tipping and littering
- Have significant overgrowth and unmanaged land
- Have multiple or frequent reports to the council
As part of the response, the council’s hot spot team will link with environmental protection and enforcement officers who will continue to take a zero tolerance approach to enforcement, issuing fines for littering, fly-tipping and breaches of householders’ duty of care offences.
Sandwell Council Leader Councillor Kerrie Carmichael said: “I am very pleased with the results of the Environment Response Team trial and I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to this new way of working.
“This successful and well-received pilot has shown that we need to make this targeted work part of our day-to-day activities so we have now embedded resources within the Green Spaces team.
“We have set up the Hot Spot Solutions Group to take forward the multi-team approach – working closely with our communities to really get to the root of issues at sites and find long-term solutions.
“Less littering, fewer fly-tips and more inviting green space provide safer spaces for our children to play, walk and cycle in the open. And more of our urban environment – particularly green spaces – will be accessible and inviting to our residents to use for health and wellbeing.
“Making improvements to sites and resolving issues can also help to reduce anti-social behaviour, fly-tipping, littering and crime.”
People can report fly-tipping incidents online or by calling 0121 368 1177. For dangerous fly-tipping, for example if it’s blocking a road or if there are dumped chemicals, please call us immediately.
People can report anti-social behaviour to the council online or by calling 0121 368 1166, or call West Midlands Police on 101 or use the Live Chat facility on West Midlands Police’s website
People can report significant hot spots by emailing email@example.com
Source: Sandwell Council Press Release