Birmingham City Council using AI to combat fly tipping

Aston, Erdington and North Edgbaston will get new CCTV cameras that can spot suspected dumping of rubbish as it happens and alert council officers, saving hours in trawling recorded footage. The technology can also pinpoint the exact time rubbish was dumped. 

The council is running an initial trial of the new technology in these three wards. If successful, further cameras will be added to wider pool of CCTV systems operated across the city.

a security camera on a pole in front of a tree

Photo by Akira 

As well as the high-tech AI system involved, the trial scheme will be supported by posters and other comms and engagement in local communities. Residents can also report instances of fly tipping on the council’s website. 

The hope is that this mix of the tech and the personal will dramatically reduce this criminal activity – and make the streets cleaner and nicer for everyone. 

The new cameras will be funded through a government grant of £45,000 announced earlier in the year. 

Cllr Majid Mahmood, Cabinet Member for Environment, says: ‘Thanks to the previous investment made by the city council and new grants such as this, we are showing we are on the side of people who care for and value their neighbourhoods – and that we are willing to try out new technology to deliver a cleaner and greener Birmingham. 

‘There is absolutely no excuse to dump waste on our streets. It’s disgusting and means we have to spend money that could be better used in other ways to meet the priorities of citizens. 

‘This CCTV should help us monitor hotspot areas in a more efficient way and bring to justice those who are responsible. Unfortunately, we have to regularly issue fixed penalty notices to offenders across the city and where appropriate we will take cases through the courts – with hefty fines or prison the uncomfortable prospects for those who are guilty.’

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