AI Cameras Fight Fly Tipping

CCTV and fly tipping signs on a tree lined road
Author: Samuel Beckingham
Updated: Aug 09, 2023
3 minutes read

The city of Birmingham has installed cameras that make use of artificial intelligence as a way to stop prolific fly tipping. It’s often difficult to catch culprits of fly tipping, so these AI cameras are meant to speed up the process of identifying those responsible. Now, £45,000 has been spent installing these cameras across Aston, Edington and Edgbaston.

Birmingham City Council has specified that the AI cameras will be able to automatically alert the local authority to any rubbish being dumped in these areas. They will also take out the manual sifting of video footage as the cameras will provide the footage instantly. Any officers looking into the cases will be sent a time stamp of the video footage so they know where to look.

It’s hoped that these AI cameras will provide evidence against fly tipping quickly and efficiently. The new technology is being trialled as a way of being greener and protecting the environment to keep it pristine. Fly tipping diverts funds that could be used on more useful endeavours to clear up waste. Citizen priorities will never be met if fly tipping isn’t clamped down on.

The CCTV will enable the council to monitor hotspots of activity as well as prosecute offenders much more easily. The council is in the unfortunate position of having to regularly issue fixed penalty notices to multiple offenders across the city. These cases sometimes result in court action, hefty fines or the prospect of a prison sentence.

As part of a government grant announced in April this year, these AI cameras are a pilot to see how effective the technology is. Another set of cameras were installed in Westminster back in February. The London cameras automatically request driver details from the DVLA.

After the pilot scheme finishes, it’s hoped that they will be connected to a larger array of existing cameras. Although intelligent computer systems have been in use for a number of years, the use of AI technology has increased the effectiveness of this exponentially. Not only will number plates be detected, but basic facial recognition will also be used and compare images against an existing database of known culprits.

Traditional cameras would struggle to identify fly tipping, as a potential pile of rubbish would look too similar to a multitude of other two dimensional images. AI enhances this process by being able to identify fly tipping more easily without having to have seen a particular object or collection of objects before.

In this day and age, there’s no reason to resort to fly tipping. You are able to book bulky waste collections through your local council or you can hire a skip instead. Skips are available in multiple sizes and can take most household waste. There are loads of skips that can fit on a standard driveway as well, giving you plenty of options. Get a quote for a local skip.

Alternatively, you can always take a trip to your local household waste recycling centre. While some items may incur a small charge for disposal, other items may be able to be reused. With all of the items already in your vehicle, it’s so much easier than dumping them in the environment.