Fly tipping in Kingston upon Thames increased by 15 per cent in the year leading up to March 2021, according to figures released by Kingston Council.
The average number of fly tips per month from April 2019 to March 2020 was 284, while the average number per month from April 2020 to March 2021 was 326.
There has been a reduction in the monthly average from April to October of this year, falling to 268.
This follows the council’s recent campaign to try and tackle the issue with increased enforcement. In the week commencing November 1, council officers issued 29 Duty of Care Notices and nine Fixed Penalty Notices to businesses, as well as five to residents for fly tipping.
Mary Graham, 69, who lives in Kingston, has noticed rubbish dumped near where she lives. She said: “Every week we go around the [Thameside] car park and pick up the rubbish people throw out of their cars including […] dirty nappies.
“We live on the houseboats next to the car park and if we don’t litter-pick, [rubbish] ends up in our garden – or worse in the river.”
Alison Fure, 63, another Kingston resident and ecologist, said that Old Kingston Road in Tolworth is a regular fly tipping spot and that there had been regular community clean-ups on Tolworth Court Farm as a result.
During the clean-ups, Fure said she had noticed hazardous waste, including bottles and cans, which she said could threaten local wildlife.
She said: “The council ignores the important things that people care about. They have Directors of Place but no one takes care of ‘place’, only volunteers. Its priority is wrong.”
Fly tipping plagued one part of Surbiton so much that the Royal Mail was forced to close an NHS priority postbox due to the rubbish surrounding it.
A Kingston council spokesperson said: “It is a shame that the actions of a few individuals who chose not to dispose of their waste responsibly and legally led to the closure of the postbox.”
The postbox has since been cleared and will be reopened by the Royal Mail.
The council also recently detailed its plans for tackling fly tipping across the borough. It has waste inspection officers currently operating in areas identified by the council’s fly tipping task force which have had historic issues with fly tipping.
Councillors also said they have been speaking to local residents to remind them how to dispose of rubbish correctly.
Councillor John Sweeney, portfolio holder for business and leisure, said: “Kingston is a great borough to live in and most residents and businesses take care of their rubbish properly.
“Sadly, our research has identified a number of hot-spots that are susceptible to fly tipping.
“Our officers have formed a team to work with impacted residents, businesses and Councillors, to find ways of reducing and eradicating fly tipping in these areas.”