The Welsh Assembly is rolling out a new test program that uses GPS tracking as a way of monitoring fly-tipping in the Principality. Officers from the Fly-tipping Action Wales (FAW) estimate that there were over 48,000 incidents of illegal dumping which cost local authorities over £3 million to clear up.
Officers from the organisation will be provided with GPS enabled mobile phones that are able to record location data, take pictures of the site and track the GPS co-ordinates for input later into a central database. This well help the department in identifying illegal hotspots where dumping rubbish is endemic and help to prosecute guilty parties.
The use of GPS tracking will mean that the FAW can accurately build up a picture of the areas that are constantly being blighted with unsightly, discarded rubbish. The Welsh Assembly are planning on spending £25 million on revamping the area and attracting inward investment and FAW Project Manager Gary Evans believes that monitoring fly-tipping using GPS tracking is a good way of eradicating the unsightly rubbish from the valleys, villages and beautiful countryside of Wales.
The officers from the unit will be armed with their GPS mobile phones and will help in compiling data for the Valleys Regional Park team to analyse. The Environment Minister, John Griffiths said on the BBC that whilst instances of fly-tipping had declined there were still too many cases which were costing tax payers over £3m each year.
The scheme has just been rolled out in the Merthyr Tydfil area and if GPS tracking of fly-tipping proves to be successful then the programme could be extended throughout the country.
FAW are amongst the latest in a number of government departments and local authority bodies who have successfully used mobile phones equipped with GPS tracking to provide the public with a greater level of service and faster response times. The Emergency services have used them for co-ordinating special action teams in the event of a disaster. While lone or remote health workers within the NHS are provided with them for reasons of safety and also to provide accurate location information so as to direct health care to the nearest and most urgent cases.
More and more government and local authorities are discovering that GPS mobile phones are a cheap and effective means of tracking staff movements and giving the public an increased quality of care and assistance when it’s needed most.