Council boss said Doncaster’s fly-tipping problem was a ‘tsunami’ when he joined

A boss in charge of clearing Doncaster’s streets described the fly-tipping situation when he joined the council 18 months ago as a ‘tsunami’.

By George Torr, Local Democracy Reporter
Wednesday, 27th April 2022, 10:47 am

Dan Swaine, head of economy and environment at DMBC, said the council had turned its fortunes around on the issue of fly-tipping.

He said at one point in the last 18 months, the borough had a huge backlog of 3,000 cases and the time taken to clear reported fly-tipping within seven working days was well below the 65 per cent target.

Addressing councillors at a recent scrutiny meeting, Mr Swaine said extra investment from Mayor Ros Jones in recent budgets has helped clear the massive backlog and rates were now operating at around 95 per cent.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Fly-tipping in Hexthorpe

Mr Swaine also said that central government funding cuts accounted for four members of staff per ward not being able to be out on the streets to clear fly-tipping since 2010.

Between January and March, there were 533 £150 fines were issued for littering offences

In the same period, five fixed penalty notices of £400 each were issued for people who were caught fly-tipping and a further 29 fines of £150 for ‘small scale’ fly tips such as theunlawful disposal of a black bin bag waste.

There have also been 10 prosecutions with total fines and costs amounting to around £5,000 as well as 40 hours unpaid community service.

DMBC's director of economy and environment, Dan Swaine.

“When I started in this role it was like a tsunami of fly-tipping, it was rife,” Mr Swaine said.

“We had 3,000 cases at one in a backlog and we were way below the 65 per cent target of clearing it up once it’s reported within seven calendar days. We’re now at 95 per cent and have no backlog.

“Resources need to match your aspiration or your level of acceptance, so we’ve put additional money in there.

“Streetscene has lost 100 posts through a continuation of funding reductions from central government in the last five to 10 years which equates to four per council ward.

“We’ve become a bit more intelligence led and be not to say more proactive but predictive in what we do and where we go.

“We’ve had closer working between Streescene and enforcement – the report shows fixed penalty notices for litter and for fly-tipping which has led to prosecutions.”