Leeds Council to set up ‘environmental crime team’ to tackle illegal dumping

Leeds City Council is expected to set up its very own team of officers to “focus on serious and organised environmental crime”, according to new documents seen by the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

By Richard Beecham
Friday, 4th February 2022, 4:30 pm

Sweeping reforms set to take place in the council’s waste disposal service also include increasing opening hours at municipal tips and a new anti-littering campaign.

The plans, set to be discussed by council decision-makers next week, come alongside budget proposals to scrap charges for household bulky waste collections.

A paper, set to be discussed by the council’s Executive Board, proposes to establish a “Serious Environmental Crime Team”, claiming this would: “Provide a more effective deterrent to those who commit organised environmental crime with an increased success rate and publicity of prosecutions.

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Sweeping reforms set to take place in the council’s waste disposal service also include increasing opening hours at municipal tips (Photo: Anna Gowthorpe)

“The current capacity and expertise within Cleaner Neighbourhoods Teams is limited and requires a more dedicated approach.”

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Organised environmental crime often involves unlicensed disposal companies illegally dumping rubbish.

It added that this would initially be led by one manager and an extra four environmental team posts, transferred from the council’s cleaner neighbourhoods team “to develop specialist capabilities and expertise”.

Other plans include increasing the opening hours for commercial disposal of household waste at Kirkstall and Seacroft household waste recycling centres, to allow people to dispose of waste during the weekends.

It added: “The council provides facilities for commercial/trade waste disposal at these two sites but is currently closed Saturday afternoons and Sundays. By increasing the opening times this will help those carrying/collecting waste to dispose of their waste legally and responsibly all weekend. The increase in income will pay for the increase in opening times.”

Other proposals include introducing a scheme to make it easier for Leeds residents to find a local waste company to allow them to dispose of waste, as well as a new anti-littering campaign for 2022.

It added: “This growing social action movement promotes and encourages residents to take action in their neighbourhoods to do something about litter/waste. It plays an important role in helping bring about behavioural change and increased personal responsibility.”

The paper will be discussed by Leeds City Council’s Executive Board on Wednesday, February 9.

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