Tackling flytipping black spots – FlyMapper system launched in Glasgow

Local authorities are using a sophisticated new system to find and tackle flytipping black spots in communities across Scotland, it was announced today (Monday 16th March) in Glasgow ahead of the roll-out of the system nationwide.

16 Mar 15

Glasgow City Council’s flytipping rapid response teams will join Zero Waste Scotland and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), who together with Flytipping Action Wales, have developed FlyMapper, a sophisticated new app and web-based system which will help local authorities and other land managers build up a detailed picture of where items are being dumped illegally.

Practical, easy-to-use and free, FlyMapper has been tested with a group of councils including Glasgow. It will be available to all local authorities in Scotland from 1st April.

FlyMapper works by allowing users (such as council workers) to upload information, including photographs, on the spot when they are out and about using a mobile application. These reports then build up a detailed, localised, visual display and feed into an online map and database allowing problem areas to be identified and interventions to be targeted, giving a much more accurate picture of the extent of flytipping at all levels – from street level to nationwide. 

The status of each incident can be tracked and all the data is centralised in an easy-to-use website. 

The most recent figures, which Zero Waste Scotland believes could be much higher, estimate 61,000 items or around 26,000 tonnes of goods, are flytipped every year in Scotland. This costs the public purse nearly £9m a year to clear up. Better reporting from local authorities through using FlyMapper will give a more accurate picture of the amount of flytipping happening across Scotland.

Flytipping is illegal dumping of waste - from a bin bag of household waste, to large quantities of domestic, commercial or construction waste. We all have responsibility to ensure that waste we produce is disposed of correctly, for householder this should be in the recycling/waste containers supplied by your local authority or using a household waste and recycling centre.

Iain Gulland, Chief Executive, Zero Waste Scotland, said:

“We’re delighted to be launching FlyMapper today with our partners, a sophisticated but practical system which will greatly help local authorities to track and deal with flytipping incidents. The public views flytipping as extremely serious, as does Zero Waste Scotland – as well as a blight on local areas, it’s a waste of resources which could be reused or recycled.  Dumping items inconsiderately causes frustration in many communities. 

“We’ve had a fantastic response to the system so far from our user group and we look forward to talking to all of Scotland’s 32 local authorities about using FlyMapper, which is totally free, from 1st April. 

Willie Wilson, National Waste & Enforcement Operations Manager, SEPA, said:

““Flytipping is illegal, a blight on communities, and a risk to our environment. SEPA is committed to tackling waste crime, and the Flymapper app will be a valuable addition to the toolbox available to us and our partners to target this social and environmental menace.” 

Councillor Alistair Watson, Glasgow City Council’s Executive Member for Sustainability and Transport, said:

“We’re committed to helping people recycle as much as they can and also cut down on the waste they produce. However, there is a minority of people who think it is acceptable to dump unwanted items wherever they please.  Fly tipping is a particularly offensive environmental crime and while illegally dumped rubbish is cleared by our rapid response teams as and when it is identified, this new app allows our enforcement officers to target hot spot areas more effectively and the information gathered helps build a clearer picture of where these locations are across the city.

“These areas are now being targeted by our officers and enforcement action will be taken against those responsible for blighting our city with fly tipping.

“Fly tipping cases should be reported to Clean Glasgow on 0300 343 7027.”

The mobile app runs on Android, Windows and Apple iOS operating systems and is available free of charge from their respective stores. 



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