Fly-tipping incidents spiked in Enfield during the first coronavirus lockdown and remain high compared to earlier levels.
The number of reported fly-tips in the borough jumped from around 600 in March to more than 1,000 in June, according to figures from Enfield Council.
Since June, they have largely remained above the 800 mark – and climbed to nearly 1,000 again in November.
The figures were revealed during a meeting of the environment and climate action scrutiny panel on Wednesday. Councillors raised concerns over the high levels and called for action to bring them back down
Cllr Tolga Aramaz (Labour, Edmonton Green) told the meeting: “I started being a councillor in May 2018. Now we are coming to 2021 almost, and it looks like fly-tipping is just increasing, and we are not getting anywhere with it. Is there going to be a strategy where we can diminish fly-tipping in some way?”
Doug Wilkinson, the council’s director of environment, said that at the start of the year the local authority put extra resources into the Edmonton area and started to see a reduction in fly-tipping – until the coronavirus lockdown happened in March.
He told the meeting he hoped the situation would improve once the vaccine had been rolled out widely and life began to return to normal.
“Part of our plan was to immediately start to get out and engage with people around the changes in the (waste collection) services, but also around fly-tipping, to do face-to-face engagement and education.
“The pop-up booths in the supermarkets and things – we haven’t been able to do any of that, but we still do plan to do that at some point when guidelines allow us.”
Cllr Aramaz said the council should have an ambition to cut fly-tipping to zero, if possible.
Cllr Maria Alexandrou (Conservative, Winchmore Hill) called for the council to focus on the whole borough when tackling fly-tipping.
“The fly-tipping has increased to no end – it is absolutely disgusting,” Cllr Alexandrou said. “I do the school run and walk to work, and I’m constantly taking photos of mattresses, furniture, everything.
“It’s in Winchmore Hill as well, not just Edmonton. We need to look at the whole area. It has spread everywhere.”