NHS worker among those fined for fast food littering after being caught by new council system

An NHS worker is among those fined for littering after being caught by a system currently being trialled by East Riding Council and fast food outlets.

Friday, 28th May 2021, 2:00 pm
East Riding Council’s Environment and Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Sub-Committee heard the NHS worker was fined after dumped McDonalds packaging was found and traced back to them.East Riding Council’s Environment and Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Sub-Committee heard the NHS worker was fined after dumped McDonalds packaging was found and traced back to them.

East Riding Council’s Environment and Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Sub-Committee heard the NHS worker was fined after dumped McDonalds packaging was found and traced back to them.

Environmental Services Manager Andy Height said they were traced under a trial scheme with McDonalds, KFC and Costa Coffee who have agreed to write vehicle registration details on receipts.

It comes as the committee heard disposing of fly tipped waste and litter currently cost the council around £600,000 every year.

The council received 2,825 reports of fly tipping during the 2020 to 2021 financial year, compared to 2,900 in 2019 to 2020.

A report submitted to the committee stated 297.32 tonnes of fly tipped waste was collected in 2020-21, with non mechanical litter totalling 1,665.5 tonnes.

The equivalent figures for 2019-20 were 295.95 and 1665.26 respectively.

The report also stated the number of reported fly tips increased “significantly” during the most recent coronavirus lockdown from January to March, totalling 1,040 compared to 790 the previous year.

Councillors heard disposing of fly tipped waste and litter costs the council around £600,000 each year, with income from fines averaging about £10,000 a year from 2016 onward.

A total of 450 fly tips were investigated by council officers in 2020-21, with 110 unearthing usable evidence and 41 leading to cautions, warning letters, Fixed Penalty Notices or prosecutions.

Mr Height told the committee the council had recently bought four mobile CCTV units it planned to deploy in fly tipping hotspots, including in the Bridlington and Goole areas.

He added officials were concerned some who witness fly tipping or littering were reluctant to report it, in part because of having to agree to giving court testimonies if necessary.

The manager said: “We’ve been trialling our scheme with McDonalds, KFC and Costa Coffee for about six or seven months.

“They have agreed to write the first three digits of vehicle registration plates on receipts which they can check against their CCTV footage if litter is reported.

“We found some and sent details back to McDonalds, when they traced it back they found it was a member of the NHS who dropped the litter.

“You would be surprised as to who litters, the people who do it are not necessary those you would think would do it.

“We’ve also had people come in from outside the area who dump their waste and then leave.

“A couple of weeks ago I was on South Marine Drive in Bridlington and I saw a car pull up next to a bin, the door open and chucked out nappies and other rubbish.

“They also left receipts and we traced them back using the information on them and found they’d come from the Leeds area.

“It’s about getting across to people what’s important and what’s acceptable, if people drive past a lay by say and they see there’s already litter there then they’re more likely to dump some themselves and then it builds up.”

Committee member Cllr Claire Holmes said officials could ask fast food outlets to put the first three letters of registration plate on paper bags handed out at drive thrus to increase the deterrent.

Her and other councillors also called on officers to lobby the outlets to write registration details down in all cases, rather than just at quiet times as they do currently.