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'Grot spot' scandal: what can businesses do to help?

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The age-old problem of fly tipping has featured prominently in the news this week, after an investigation by ITV News revealed Britain's so-called 'grot spots' - areas particularly prone to fly-tipping incidents. The investigation found that the north London borough of Haringey was the worst-affected local government area in the country, with over 39,000 instances of unauthorised dumping reported to the council from November 2015 to December 2016.

The area outside London most plagued by fly-tipping was found to be Manchester, with over 31,000 incidents reported during the same time period. In Birmingham there were 21,000 incidents, with the London boroughs of Hounslow, Newham and Brent also among the top six worst-affected areas.

This is despite recent government attempts to clamp down on the problem. Changes were announced last year giving local authorities the power to issue people caught in the act of fly-tipping fixed penalty notices of up to £400. It was hoped that the new penalty regime would save councils time and hassle, enabling them to punish offenders on the spot without having to go through the rigmarole of dragging them to the courts.

But while councils have issued fines totalling more than £430,000 for fly-tipping since receiving these new powers, it remains a nationwide problem. This means that it's all the more important for businesses to take pro-active steps to ensure that they dispose of their own rubbish legally and safely. This is even more important for business who manage large volumes of waste, who want to make sure that they protect their reputation as a socially responsible business.

Vehicle Tracking Systems often in Geofencing features that can help businesses prevent fly-tipping incidents by their own staff. It can alert fleet managers when vehicles enter known 'grot spots', so they instantly know when a possible fly-tipping incident is occurring. The knowledge that management will instantly be alerted to these potential incidents also serves as a deterrent to drivers preventing them from fly-tipping in the first place.

In addition, power take off (PTO) activation can also be used to alert managers when tipping is taking place in a non-authorised location. PTO, in a nutshell, provides notifications when electronic vehicle activity occurs including information about where the activity is taking place. Fleet managers can also create reports when PTO events are triggered that aren't on a specific site.

As well as being simply unsightly, fly-tipping also represents a significant health risk. Businesses which take these simple steps demonstrate their commitment not just to maintaining a healthy environment but to being responsible members of the community as well.


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