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Five mobile cameras will target fly-tipping hotspots in Torfaen

a bin overflowing with litter

VOLUNTEER litter pickers should be helped to sort out waste they collect which could be recycled, a councillor has said.

Efforts to tackle the blight of waste and fly-tipping will include litter free zones, where volunteers will assist with extra litter picking patrols, and the council using five mobile cameras to be covertly deployed at fly-tipping hot spots.

But members of Torfaen Borough Council’s cleaner communities scrutiny committee said how the council communicates with residents is key to addressing the causes of fly-tipping.

They also said the council should improve how its supports volunteers such as litter pickers.

Abersychan councillor Lynda Clarkson said her local scrap dealer has previously asked if he can sort through litter she had collected, for recyclables, and she said the council should consider how it can separate the waste volunteers collect.

“I suspect 90 per cent of what we litter pick is recyclable and it is highly valuable,” said the Labour councillor.

“I have been approached by the scrappy who has asked if they can go through the litter I’ve picked, before it’s collected, as they can take out the aluminum cans.

“There must be a way we can facilitate this? It’s not what’s easiest but what’s best and that should be done by talking to volunteers as well to see what they can come up with.”

Council figures show since 2021, when the council introduced its fly-tipping and waste strategy, there have been between 40 and 100 incidents of fly-tipping a month. Those of peaked and fallen at different times of the year.

Officers told the committee they are considering a communications campaign the council could run with DIY shops around bank holidays to raise awareness among residents of their responsibilities to dispose of waste material responsibly and only through registered waste carriers.

Cllr Clarkson said householders should be made aware they could be fined if they use a waste carrier that isn’t registered with Natural Resources Wales.

She said: “If people were aware they risk a fine for not using a registered waste carrier it would improve.”

The councillor suggested the council could publish a list of local registered waste carriers on its website and said while carriers are supposed to show their licence when collecting waste people are unaware they should ask to see it.

The committee has said the council should improve signposting so residents are aware of their responsibilities, the implications of failing to follow regulations and how the council will make it easier for residents to know what is required of them.

It also wants the council to improve how it communicates within and between its own departments on litter policies and promotion, including working with schools, and to encourage volunteers and to conduct an annual survey of whether their needs and requirements are supported by the council.

The committee said it also supported the council’s decision that any enforcement of litter or fly-tipping is conducted in-house by the council.

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Five mobile cameras will target fly-tipping hotspots in Torfaen