London Borough of Hillingdon operatives unable to pick up fly tipped rubbish without a ticket
This morning at 9.00am I was walking along Ruislip High St and saw two council workers standing next to a refuse collection truck – the type with a cage on the back. Co-incidentally the street cleaner had just gone past with his push cart.
I asked them if they were there to empty the litter bins. No, they said, we only deal with fly tipped rubbish. The cage was a quarter full of bags of rubbish and branches so they had been at work and I guess they were waiting for a call to go to the next incident.
I directed their attention to three bags of rubbish a few yards away that had been left by the recycling bins. The photo shows me standing alongside the very same bags 3 hours later at 12.00 noon.
They agreed that it was fly tipped rubbish (DEFRA’s Litter Code of Practice says that rubbish deposited in a bag is “fly tipping” not “litter”).
Why don’t you chuck them in the back of your truck I asked? We cannot do that, they replied, as we do not have a ticket! They explained that before they could deal with any fly tipping they needed a ticket from the council and that one would be issued only after a member of the public had reported it.
They did not think it was appropriate for them to report it to themselves.
In their defence they seemed as bemused as I was by these Byzantine procedures. Also, they helpfully pointed out that if someone reported it to the council, the council might decide to check if it contained any evidence pointing to the perpetrator such as a bill with an address on it.
However why on earth could they not be given the authority use their discretion and either check it for evidence themselves – or use just pick it up regardless.
It the “jobs worth” mentality gone mad.
The bags were still there at 9.15 pm.