Fly tipping can be a huge problem for urban and rural communities. Local websites can help tackle the problem in several easy ways.
Tell people there is a problem using pictures: the first step is to make sure people know that your neighbourhood has a fly tipping problem. Take pictures of the dumped stuff every time you see some and put them on the website. Even basic camera phone pics are fine – although rubbish can be surprisingly photogenic quality isn’t important. Remember to say in the post where the object was dumped, when you saw it etc. Create a category for dumped stuff on your website so that it builds up into a fly tipping saga over time. If you use Flikr you can easily create a rogues gallery of broken stuff like this one in Kings Cross.
Report the problems as you post them up: different local authorities have different ways of reporting fly tipping and it can be tricky to work out how. FixMyStreet simplifies the process – I use it a lot and it works. FixMyStreet also allows you to get a RSS feed of problems people report near you – the feed can go in your sidebar and is very easy to use. For the more technically minded there are ways of using google maps to display FixMyStreet reports. Make sure when you post a problem to say when you reported it.
Improve street cleansing: when you have a body of evidence on your website draw it to the attention of your local Councillor and the Director of Environmental Services at the council (the person who is paid to make sure these problems get cleared up – the job title might vary a bit). This is easy to do by sending them a link to the category on your website. You can’t guarantee that this will get things fixed, but persistent, polite, repeated reference to the evidence you have should get things improved over time. In Kings Cross residents helped the council sort out much of the fly tipping problems and target street cleaning resources better. This article in the Guardian tells the story there.
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