Innocent Tower Hamlets tenants are picking up the bill for fly-tipping

Tower Hamlets Homes is charging its tenants and leaseholders up to �440,000 a year for fly-tipping on its estates despite having no idea who is dumping the rubbish.

Residents in council-owned estates are footing the bill for the illegal activity in their yearly service charges but there is no proof that they or others on their estate are responsible.

On the Approach estate in Bethnal Green, THH is charging each household �20 a year for bulky refuse removal.

This means that if each of its 22,000 properties across the borough are subject to the same charge, fly-tipping will bring in �440,000 a year for the management organisation.

Daniel Dearlove, who lives on the Approach estate, branded the charge “lazy” and said it was “just another tax”.

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He added: “They are obviously not going to have any incentive to investigate the fly tipping as it’s already being paid for by residents. There are a lot of people being affected by this.

“I’ve never once been asked by anyone about whether I know anything about rubbish being dumped on the estate.”

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Residents have also accused Tower Hamlets Council’s arm’s-length management organisation of acting sneakily in past years as the fee has always been around but was previously masked within the caretaking charges.

THH said the breakdown was more detailed this year in a bid to be more “open and accountable”.

The bill for households is calculated by the amount of collections carried out in the year, the management firm said.

The cost of the bulky waste removal service over 2010/11 was �386,000.

A THH spokeswoman said: “If we are notified or identify that the refuse is dumped by people who are not residents we make every effort to deal with the problem.

“Tower Hamlets Homes will take action against anyone found to be dumping bulky waste, but this is not always possible and unfortunately we must pass on the costs of removing it to all residents, as we do with other estate maintenance costs.”

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