Selby Council and McDonald's to launch CCTV trial to catch customers who drop fast food litter

Fast food restaurant customers who drop litter could be tracked down on CCTV as part of a crackdown on flytipping and littering in Selby.

McDonald's
McDonald's

Selby Council has launched a campaign to tackle littering and flytipping across the district - which has seen a significant increase in volunteer litter pickers during lockdown.

The council is set to team up with McDonald’s to help tackle litter as part of the campaign and this could include tracking down litterbugs’ car registration details on CCTV from the restaurant.

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A council spokesperson said: “McDonald’s Selby has always supported the council’s litter campaigns and worked proactively with us to tackle the problem.

“Working closely with them is potentially a useful tool for our enforcement officers to investigate complaints and track down offenders when we have the evidence.

“With the evidence we can request the CCTV (which includes car registration details) from the restaurant and use this to acquire the vehicles’ registered keeper details from the DVLA or police which is a significant benefit to the investigating officer.”

Staff at the Selby branch already do litter picks and the chain has paid for a new bin in Abbots Road for customers walking between Bawtry Road and Selby College to use.

There have been calls nationally for McDonald’s to put customers’ car registration numbers on takeaway bags - but the company has ruled this out saying it breaks data protection laws.

Littering and flytipping incidents increased nationally during the pandemic and data does not show Selby is suffering any worse than other areas.

But the council has outlined wide plans to tackle the issue, including the launch of a campaign using adverts on Spotify, Youtube and Instagram as well as petrol pumps and buses to warn people about the fines they could face for littering.

A council spokesperson said: “We’re looking at a number of different ways to tackle the issue of litter in our district.

“Later this year we’re also running a campaign to highlight how easy it is to report (through our website) anyone seen dropping litter and we’re reminding everyone of the penalty for dropping litter - a £75 fine. This campaign will include Spotify and Youtube adverts and petrol pump adverts reminding motorists of the penalties for dropping litter from vehicles.

“This summer we’re running a social media campaign to highlight the volunteers who regularly pick up litter in their community.

“We want to highlight their good work and shame those who still think it is acceptable to drop their rubbish in our streets, parks and green spaces.”

Data shows there were 636 flytipping incidents reported in Selby district during the past year, which is similar to the numbers seen in the previous five years. And 29 fines for flytipping were issued - higher than any of the previous five years.

The enforcement team already have two camera set-ups for surveillance of fly tipping, which can help bring prosecutions against people who fly tip.

They are looking at other suitable CCTV monitoring options and continue to put surveillance in place at reported hotspots.

There were 101 complaints made about litter or dog fouling, which is fewer than in previous years but does not include the reports dealt with by enforcement officers.

Councillors will discuss littering and flytipping in the district at a meeting on Tuesday.