With lively pubs, an eclectic market and a wide-range of local restaurants, Tooting was recently declared one of 'the world's coolest neighbourhoods' by Lonely Planet. Unfortunately, a 2017 survey by Wandsworth Council revealed that 98% of Tooting residents think fly-tipping is a serious problem.

So Hubbub teamed up with Wandsworth Council to bring some of our award-winning #NeatStreets anti-littering initiatives to Tooting as well as trialling innovative ideas to combat fly-tipping across the borough.

1) Watching eyes

To reduce littering throughout Tooting we brightened up 45 bins. They are now much more visible and nudge people to bin their waste, rather than drop it on the floor.

The ‘watching eyes’ theory says that people who feel watched behave in more socially responsible ways, and we included a pair of eyes on all of the bin vinyls to make the most of this. Four businesses gave permission to apply watching eyes on their walls to deter people from fly-tipping in front of their shop.

2) What would you do with £400?

£400 is the average fine for fly-tipping in Tooting. 4,763 people were fined for littering and fly-tipping in Tooting in 2017. Even though Wandsworth Council takes a proactive approach to enforcement, 93% of residents thought it was unlikely that fly-tippers will get caught. To make more people aware of the Council’s enforcement we looked for creative ways to promote the message.

We developed several lamppost wraps, a flyer, and created a chalkboard asking Tooting residents what they would do with £400. The board travelled from the always busy Tooting Market to the local leisure centre.

3) Can’t get to the tip? We can collect it!

With new residents moving into Tooting all the time, we needed to communicate the best ways to dispose of waste. We informed residents and businesses about collection days, collection times and the different methods of disposing of bulky waste. We also encouraged them to report fly-tipping. The messages were communicated in a short, clear and positive way via a door-to-door newsletter to all of Tooting’s residents and businesses, as well as via a social media campaign, lamppost wraps and a press release.

4) Building community pride

To increase the sense of pride in the area, we invited businesses to take part in a community gallery and a community clean-up day. In taking part they showed they care for Tooting and encouraged others to do the same. Engaging the business community was a successful way of working. Nineteen businesses had their picture taken for the community-gallery, and fifty-seven more businesses put up a campaign poster in their shop. Simultaneously the campaign posters were showed on digital screens throughout Tooting’s streets. With the posters up all over Tooting centre, the posters reached thousands of locals.

We invited all businesses in the campaign-area to join a community clean-up. Ninety businesses told us they planned to take part in the clean-up day by painting their shop front, sweeping around their shop or washing their shop windows.

5) Beautifying a litter hotspot

To reduce fly-tipping on Church Lane we brightened up Church Lane car park by applying a colourful mural to the electricity substation. Two designs were created by street artist Will Impey. We asked the community to choose their favourite, and the winner received 486 votes.

The car park suffers from a lack of perceived ownership or interest and needs a more involved approach to deter people from fly-tipping. A great next step might be finding a local faith or community group to take responsibility for the space.

The effect on fly-tipping

We have brightened up the bins, jazzed up the lampposts, beautified Church Lane Car Park and installed ‘watching eyes’ around Tooting to encourage people to dispose of litter and other larger items properly.

#NeatStreets Tooting created a slight decrease in fly-tipping in the area with the overall cleanliness of hotspots improving by 5% and the occasions on which fly-tipping hotspots were rated as ‘clean’ or ‘very clean’ by the cleansing team increased by 17%. These successes are fairly modest, and we learned a lot about fly-tipping and the complex factors behind its prevalence in the area. Get in touch if you would like to discuss this with us.

If you’re looking for inspiration to reduce litter or fly-tipping in your area take a look at the full campaign report.