The series takes a look at the rubbish found hidden underwater in Britain's canals, and goes on patrol with the Westminster wardens trying to stop people urinating in the street.
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Every day, a never-ending war is being waged across Britain
to clean up our towns and countryside.
There's no excuse for it
and that is what winds me up the most.
They just have no regard for nature.
From tons of cigarette butts, dogs' mess and household rubbish,
to mountains of tyres and skip-loads of builders' waste.
We don't want to see it in our countryside
and it also costs a lot of money to remove it.
It's a shame, finding a fly-tip in this area
because it's obviously an area of outstanding natural beauty.
We're on the front line of the clear-up
and the fight back,
with the dedicated teams tracking down the rogues
and putting the Great back into Britain.
It may harm your defence if you fail to mention something you later rely on in court.
On today's programme - is it a bird? Is it a plane?
Put it this way - it's a secret weapon to keep our streets clean.
It's a pop-up urinal.
These units stop hundreds and hundreds of litres of urine
on the street every night.
And the incredible images that brought to book
these young and carefree fly-tippers.
Unknown to them, we had CCTV in the car park
capturing every single move they're doing there.
Welcome to the world of Filthy Rotten Scoundrels.
Now, this sounds more like something from a holiday programme
but bear with me.
Our green and pleasant land is crisscrossed by a network of canals
that run for thousands of miles.
These were designed as trade arteries
to transport merchandise in the industrial revolution.
Today, these picturesque man-made waterways are more likely to be filled
with narrowboats that chug along at 4mph,
carrying holidaymakers and houseboat owners alike on leisurely trips.
On a sunny weekend,
this place is heaving with onlookers
who come to look at the boats, look at the scenery.
It's very pleasant to walk along the banks
and, of course, there's an excellent pub to go and have a drink in.
Who could ask for anything more?
What a lovely way to spend a day or even a week.
But there's something terribly wrong with this idyllic picture.
The water might look pleasant here
but lurking underneath is that same old, same old problem.
-Baby car seats floating down.
You're kind of wondering, "Where's the baby?"
A massive, big long sari.
They've even found an ice-cream van.
It just beggars belief sometimes what you find and what you see.
Oh, yes. You did hear correctly. Someone did say "a coffin".
Needless to say, none of this goes down well with the people who want to enjoy the canals.
I'm really passionate about what we do.
It's a great lifestyle and it's a great heritage.
It goes back for hundreds of years
and when you think of what it took to build these things
and the backbreaking work that went into them,
it's such a shame to see it spoilt by modern society, you know.
This is the Coventry Canal, a 38-mile stretch
connecting the Trent and Mersey Canal just north of Lichfield
to the city of Coventry.
The problem is so bad here, that they have to mount a full-scale clean-up operation
every single week, just to keep it clear and navigable.
And this is the bunch of canal Wombles
from an environmental charity, the Living Environment Trust,
who regularly set sail on their litter boat
to pick up the things that everyday folk leave behind.
Or should I say selfish folk
who couldn't give a monkey's about the canal
or the people who use it?
Raffy Tentindo is the Trust's manager.
Victims of litter in the canals are obviously wildlife that lives on the canal
in the first instance but, of course, also boat owners that try and navigate the canal.
In addition to that,
canals are a lovely environment to walk along and enjoy
and obviously, if they are covered in litter,
it's not as enjoyable as it could be.
Also on board is Roland Matthew from Coventry Council,
a man with 12 years' experience of cleaning up after the litter louts.
A wheelie bin.
Now, that's what I call dedication.
-Try and get it in. Try and get it in.
I don't get it.
Surely it's easier to get your bin picked up from your front door
rather than drag it all the way down here?
Thank God it wasn't full of water or else it would have sunk more.
We'll use that to put a bit more rubbish in, I think.
We get quite a few wheelie bins, lots of cans and bottles.
The one thing it all has in common is it's never worth anything,
The wombling booty may be worthless but it's not harmless,
easily damaging the narrowboats.
The canal is not very deep.
It's about one, one and a half metres deep,
so even if you have an item like a shopping trolley,
your boat might hit it and it might get damaged,
the hull might get damaged.
And the most harmless-looking flotsam can be the worst.
Rubbish like this, which is material of some kind,
if that gets wrapped around a propeller like that,
as your propeller twists, it will catch this and it will wrap round it
and jar your propeller.
And why that is a problem is, A, it's quite difficult to get off
and B, with material like this, it's difficult to rip,
so it makes it very hard to get your propeller clear.
Which is exactly what happened to Christopher
when he ploughed into someone's cast-off clobber.
It is the very devil to get off.
It took me two hours. We had to call in our...
On the boats we've got the equivalent of the RAC
or the Automobile Association, called the River and Canal Rescue.
I had to get those guys out. I couldn't do it.
So we were upside down through a weed hatch for about two hours,
literally trying to cut this jacket off,
inch by inch by inch, and it just took forever.
Imagine if you had to do that before you could start your car in the mornings.
You can see why these boat owners are fed up.
When the water's icy cold, it's terrible.
Luckily enough, I don't have to do that. My husband does it.
So I just get all the nice jobs.
What's the boat equivalent for house proud?
Back on the litter cruise, another serious hazard,
this time, a DIY delinquent, no doubt,
and if this is the haul in the countryside,
wait until you see what it's like in the towns and cities.
And that's why the Rochdale Canal, which runs through Manchester,
needs an extreme clean-up operation.
British Waterways is going to drain
a 100-metre length of the Deansgate section of the canal
but a deep clean after these antisocial dumpers comes at a price.
The cost of littering and waste is something
that is increasing year on year.
Last year, we removed over 50 tonnes of waste from the canals,
costing us over £30,000.
Across British Waterways, the total cost
of dealing with waste like this is about £300,000 a year,
which is an enormous cost and is money that we can't then spend
on repairing the lock gates or the towpaths.
Did you hear that? £300,000 a year
to clear up after the thoughtless rogues
who treat the canals as their own personal dustbin.
And these guys are fighting back.
The idea today is to drain this section of the Rochdale Canal
in the centre of Manchester.
We've had to drop the water gradually
so that we don't flood the area further down the canal.
We've put our litter boat onto the bottom of the canal bed
and that's operating, really, as a large skip.
We'll put all the items in there.
Then we can refill the section of canal and float that rubbish out.
We've got an agreement with the city council to provide a skip.
We can get the rubbish loaded into a skip
and have this section cleared up.
We'll be back with the clean-up teams later in the programme.
Prepare to be amazed by the modern horrors lurking beneath these ancient waterways.
Bright lights, big city - we're in London's West End,
the centre of the capital's night life.
You think there's a glamorous story coming, don't you?
Something exciting to make a nice change from all the rubbish in those canals.
Well, that couldn't be further from the truth.
I'm afraid this is all about something even more disgusting -
people who urinate in the street.
This bustling hub attracts over 200 million visitors every year
and let's face it, at some point, most of them are going to want to spend a penny
and for some filthy scoundrels, their convenience of choice
is a pavement or doorway.
But that's probably because they haven't yet encountered Ian and Martin,
two of Westminster Council's crack squad of filth fighters.
It's going to be a busy, busy night. Let's hit the road, Jack.
Tonight, their beat will take in the alleyways and secluded squares of W1
and they're going to have to be careful where they tread.
Here in Westminster, the amount of urine that is deposited on the street
is absolutely phenomenal,
particularly on a Friday and Saturday night.
It's a quality of life issue. It doesn't make the streets smell nice.
I can imagine, Ian, and spare a thought for the people who live here.
The worst thing, especially down this street, about someone peeing
is one, it's vulgar and two, it smells down here.
You can easily get a whiff as you're walking down here. It's disgusting.
I completely agree. Peeing on the street is just not acceptable
and I'd much rather there be a place where someone could pee if they needed to.
So Westminster Council has introduced a natty idea
to deter men - I'm sorry to say it, but it really is mostly men -
from urinating in the street - a pop-up urinal.
Ian and Martin are paying it a visit - you know, so to speak.
This is one of the busiest streets in Westminster.
This is a known spot for urination. They've put this urinal here.
It will rise out of the ground.
So come on - let's see it then. Drum roll, please.
This Dutch invention is £7,500 worth of hi-tech toilet.
Pretty impressive, eh?
This is my first time to see one come out of the ground.
Even more impressive, it saves the council tens of thousands of pounds
in clean-up costs.
These units stop hundreds and hundreds of litres
of urine on the street every night,
which costs Westminster Council thousands of pounds to clear up.
Well, let's just hope nobody tries to use it when it's only halfway up.
And there it is in all its glory. Brilliant!
This calls for a rousing speech.
Do we really want visitors coming to a world-class city
and having to smell urine 24 hours a day?
Do we really want young children having to walk through this stuff? No, we don't.
We want people to come to Westminster to enjoy themselves,
see the sights, have a bite to eat, go home, have a good night's sleep.
Well said, Ian. We all agree, don't we?
People urinating in the street is disgusting.
You like to see London as a clean place
and you don't want people urinating in the street or throwing litter,
so you want to recommend places like this
and say, "There's places you can go to.
"You don't have to worry about it when you've got things like this."
You never know when you need to go
and when that's there, then there's no better option.
So the night patrol begins in earnest
and from an alleyway up the street, Martin's getting
that same unmistakeable aroma.
My nose isn't great but you can smell it from here.
However many loos there are,
a dark alleyway never seems to lose its appeal
for those with a few pints inside them.
This is a typical street that we will have to flush
probably every morning of the week,
certainly on a Saturday and Sunday morning.
It might be due to people who have left their offices, gone out for a beer or two,
heading towards the tube,
decided they wanted to produce their pennies,
along they come, do that and away they go.
Revolting. I don't care how many drinks you've had,
it's not an excuse for using the capital's streets as a toilet.
More on this glamorous story later in the programme,
when some dirty desperado gets the dreaded tap on the shoulder.
When you've finished, we need to have a word with you.
A world away from those grimy city streets now.
This is the historic village of Steventon in Oxfordshire.
It lies within the Vale of the White Horse,
a stunning area that is popular with walkers, close to the Cotswolds.
In recent years, locals have created a new beauty spot
by the main route into the village.
The woodland stretches over 25 acres and was the brainchild
of a family of Steventon farmers.
This area used to be,
on the farm, an area of meadowland
and now we've got it planted up with
a whole variety of hardwood trees.
But Becci and her family don't keep this beautiful spot to themselves.
They have created a community woodland.
We thought that it would be a benefit to open it up to the public as well,
so that they could also enjoy it for walking, taking dogs around
and enjoying the wildlife.
Judith and the aptly named Bracken have been walking here since 2004.
It's just a lovely area. There's not many places like it.
It's free from cyclists and joggers and you can let the dogs go
and you can see all the different trees and shrubs
at different times of the year.
Hang on a minute! This isn't Countryfile, you know.
You've guessed it.
If you go down to the woods today, you could be in for a big surprise.
Well, a big pile of fly-tipped rubbish, anyway.
Some of those attracted to the woodland seem to have no respect for mother nature.
This is the car-parking area to the community woodland
and we've suffered enormously over the past few years,
particularly with fly-tipping sort of around this area.
We do get an awful lot of household type rubbish
being tipped here on a regular basis.
Becci's been finding waste on her land almost every week.
Can't these people read?
I just don't like seeing my area - because I consider it...
not my land but, you know, it's where I walk
and where I live and I don't want it to look a mess.
And nor would I, Judith.
This is the English countryside at its best.
It's a haven for butterflies and nesting birds.
Surely locals should be able to enjoy it without being faced
by loads of old builders' waste and piles of gravel?
And wait till you here what else has ended up here.
We've had things like entire kitchens that have been ripped out
either by builders or perhaps DIY enthusiasts.
Kitchens in a country car park? Disgusting.
What kind of person would cook up trouble in Becci's beautiful woodlands?
A filthy rotten scoundrel, that's who.
These fly-tips aren't just unsightly.
They can pose a serious hazard.
Well, tin cans and bottles, if the bottles are broken...
I mean, he goes off after anything that smells good.
If there's food left in a container, he will go and investigate it
and so will my friends' dogs.
They come out licking their lips and you wonder what they've eaten.
Judith's got a point here. This woodland is popular with dog walkers
and Bracken should be able to run freely
without having to worry about cutting his paws on a broken bottle.
But it gets worse.
It's just probably half a mile, if that,
from the Oxfordshire County Council tip in Drayton...
What? Did you say half a mile up the road?
It's just probably half a mile, if that,
from the Oxfordshire County Council tip in Drayton,
so I think a lot of the problems stem
from where people perhaps either miss the opening times
or perhaps there's a big queue.
That's rubbish, that is. There's a tip just two minutes away
yet people are too lazy to dump their junk in the right place.
People drive past it and throw it in a nice area like this
that someone's been kind enough to donate to the community.
It's just not right
and it makes you wonder what their own places are like, quite honestly.
Exactly. If they treat a beauty spot like this,
how do they live themselves?
Surprise, surprise. Becci's found yet more fly-tipped waste in the car park this morning.
It's not a huge amount today but it's still unsightly and harmful.
But there's a guy she knows to call in a situation like this.
Council worker Colin Marshall used to be a police officer.
Yes, I know -
even former police officers are looking younger these days.
For the past four years, Colin's dedicated his super-sleuthing skills
-to tracking down fly-tippers.
-Everybody's got to live in
this environment and we try and keep it clean and tidy
and the last thing people want to see is people fly-tipping in the area.
If we keep it clean and tidy, it's just a better way to live, isn't it?
And in his quest for a better life,
Colin's become a frequent visitor to the community woodland.
He's determined to put a stop to the rubbish.
Right, Colin, you strike me as the kind of guy
who has a van full of gizmos and gadgets.
Go on - reveal your secret weapon.
A pair of gloves? Is that it?
Right, OK, then.
Ideally, what I'm looking for is names, addresses on letters,
any receipts or anything that can identify for me
as to who may have caused this fly-tip.
Colin gets a report of at least one fly-tip each day on his patch.
Before the rubbish is disposed of, he investigates every single one
to see if he can find evidence to bring the culprits to justice.
I do enjoy my job, particularly when I can get a link
to the person who may have done this fly-tip
in the first place, and if we get a prosecution, even better.
But our knight in shining vest hasn't found his holy grail today.
The scoundrel who did this lot didn't leave any clues.
This location counts as private land,
even though the car park is open to the public.
Just wait till you hear what this means for Becci.
When people dump household rubbish down here,
as a landowner it's then entirely my responsibility to clear that up.
We have to use our time, our vehicles to take that rubbish down to the tip
and if you have a van, as we do, you need to pay to do that.
So it's incredibly unfair.
Unfair? Becci, you are a very polite lady.
So, a whole lot of hassle and a great big bill is the thanks you get
for opening up your woodland to the great British public.
But just because the council doesn't pick up the tab for clearing Becci's woodland
that doesn't mean sites like this are safe for fly-tippers.
Colin's determined to catch the crooks wherever they operate.
He's recently pulled out all the stops to tackle fly-tipping
on this site.
What we did, we came down here, we put in some covert cameras.
We put one camera just in the tree just over there
and also the second camera just over there
and that covered the entrance to the car park.
With the two cameras set up, Colin waited.
Now, these aren't your ordinary CCTV cameras.
They're programmed to alert Colin by text
when somebody pulls into the car park.
I knew he'd have a handy gadget somewhere in that van of his.
For weeks, nothing unusual happened
and Colin went about his business.
But then he got lucky.
Early one Saturday evening, the special camera sent a message
to his mobile phone.
The text alerted him
to some dodgy behaviour in the woodland car park.
The blue Alfa Romeo car turns up into the car park.
He's turning the car round.
Oh, no. You're not going to see anything from there, Colin.
What's great about this is my camera's pointing in this direction at the moment
and you think, if they stop there I'm not going to get a great view
but as you can see, they turn the car round,
perfectly for my camera point of view.
The driver's getting out the vehicle now and the passenger's
getting out as well.
They go to the back of the car.
And what a sight.
Out it comes.
If there were a fly-tippers Olympics
these guys would be in contention for a medal.
They're just chucking it out,
not having any regard to the environment at all.
So this is their idea of a fun Saturday night out.
Do these two jokers have no shame?
They're having a bit of a laugh about it at the same time.
But they'll be laughing on the other side of their faces soon.
Unknown to them, there's CCTV in the car park
capturing every single move they're doing there.
You can see quite clearly the registration number of the vehicle,
plus you've got great shots of the people involved as well.
You've got the driver identified, you've got the passenger as well.
With the details there, I can trace the owner of that vehicle
and find out who those two guys are in that car at that time.
They're only there a couple of minutes, so after they've chucked out the desk top, off they go.
But those couple of minutes were to cost them dear.
When Colin tracked down the culprits,
they admitted dumping office furniture in the car park.
They said they'd taken it there when they couldn't get into the tip.
The driver was sentenced to 80 hours' unpaid work
and his passenger was given a four-week curfew.
They each had to pay £100 costs.
I don't think they stopped to think about their actions,
about when they drive off and they leave all of their rubbish somewhere,
exactly who's going to clear that up for them,
in whose time, at whose cost.
It's just completely selfish.
Well said, Becci. It's a disgrace.
But thanks to Colin and his trusty texting cameras,
the fly-tippers had better be on their guard.
It has died down quite a lot in this area.
We get, every now and again, the odd fly-tip in this area
and of course we come out, we investigate it,
try and find out further evidence
and if we can, we try and take that to court if need be.
Bright lights, big city...
No, I'm not fooling you this time, am I? We're back on wee patrol
in London's West End
and next stop on Ian and Martin's tour of the capital's urinating hotspots
is Craig's Court, just off Whitehall,
where residents have complained to Westminster Council
that thoughtless louts are turning it into a sewer.
It's quite a well-to-do little cul-de-sac.
A very well-to-do cul-de-sac.
This is where the allegations of urinating was going on,
so we'll just have a look and see if there's anything so far.
At night, it might look like a secluded spot for the desperate
but these poor residents are regularly waking up to wet doorsteps.
It's pretty disgusting.
-There's no wet spots that I can see. Can you see any, Martin?
It's all very quiet.
With no-one to catch in the act, there's not much our boys can do.
Westminster's rogue urinators are proving rather elusive.
It's probably a little early yet.
The pubs haven't closed yet, so what we'll have to do is come back later,
because there's no evidence of any peeing going on at the moment.
No wet spots, no nothing.
Perhaps they'll have more luck at chucking out time.
Urinating in a public place causes such a problem for Westminster Council
that it costs them over £100,000 every year
to regularly flush the streets.
Directly opposite the police station over there.
Police station just there, pile of urine there.
Look what's behind you. The urinal.
Unbelievable. There really is no excuse for this mess.
If you can find that corner to pee in, you can find that urinal.
That stinking is already annoying my nostrils.
I think we're all rather glad this isn't smelly vision, here.
These guys are on a mission to educate rogue pee-ers to think twice
before they unzip and instead find a urinal.
The tricky thing is catching the culprits in the act.
I think we just missed somebody doing something that you're not supposed to
because there's clearly...
This looks like almost fresh urine, if that's the right term.
It looks very, very recent.
It looks very, very fresh.
So, yeah, it's starting.
Never mind starting - the floodgates have well and truly opened.
There's evidence of urination here and there's a smell from that.
It absolutely reeks. It absolutely smells disgusting.
-I feel pretty nauseous at the moment.
-My stomach is churning somewhat.
-Don't want to stand here for too long.
I don't blame them.
All this public urination is enough to make you sick
but cleaning it up now would be a waste of time.
There's no point getting the flushing crew down now
because in another hour it will be the same again,
so basically, it will be the end of the night,
come first thing tomorrow morning, 6am, this will get flushed
and get cleaned
and good for the people that use London during the day
and it won't smell like this.
I'm glad I'm not in your shoes tonight, lads, but at least you're wearing them.
We'll get it swept up.
A lot of females in the West End,
for reasons best known to themselves,
walk around with bare feet.
So we don't want any of them walking on that and cutting themselves.
I know it's a very, very strange habit but they do.
I'm sure they wouldn't do it if they knew what was on these pavements.
The number of them that we see carrying their shoes in their hands, walking in bare feet
along the streets of the West End, it's quite phenomenal.
I'm no expert but I think it's got something to do with wearing high heels, Ian.
Now, here's an alleyway where the council have thoughtfully provided a urinal,
so this should be a sweet-smelling paradise, right?
It's more than one person. It's a pond, really,
and the urinal is just behind them.
It's there - why not use it?
Again, unfortunately, it looks like we've just missed them.
Just as well for the thoughtless culprits.
If you're caught with your pants down, you face an £80 fixed penalty
or an appearance in front of a magistrate.
And so far, Westminster have a 100% success record
when they prosecute.
Wait a second.
And what's this? They've caught someone in the act.
When you've finished, we need to have a word with you, yeah?
-Right, have you finished?
-My name's Ian, I'm from Westminster City Council.
-I'm his colleague, Martin.
-This is Martin.
-How are you doing?
Right, any idea why we want to talk to you?
Yes, because I just did something I probably shouldn't have done
that I would like to have not done
but there you go - I'm busted.
You were "busting", more like.
I'm going to report you for the offence to Westminster City Council.
I tried as hard as I could not to
but there is just such a lack of toilets.
Can you believe it? He's clearly taking the Michael.
-There are public toilets...
-I'm really sorry. I'm really sorry.
-..dotted around the area.
-I know there are, I know there are.
-There's one just round the corner.
-It's just round the corner?
To be honest, like, I didn't see that and I'm really sorry
that I didn't see that. I looked for it.
Not good enough, mate, even if you've clearly had one too many.
Look behind you, son. Look behind you - that's someone's front door.
It's a good reality check.
People actually live and work around here.
These alleys are not public urinals.
Right, I'm going to ask you for your name, address and date of birth, please.
And finally, no matter where you've been urinating,
Ian still expects you to wash your hands. You've been told.
This is brilliant. Excellent.
We're off to Doncaster now,
where the landscape is being regularly blighted
by mountains of dumped used tyres.
Doncaster Council is on a mission to deal with the tons of tyres
which are dumped in their area.
Last year, there were a staggering 6,500 of them
off-loaded in 450 separate fly-tips.
This is now costing the taxpayer millions of pounds.
Doncaster alone shelled out £3.5 million worth of tax payers' money
to remove fly-tipping.
Dumping of tyres is a big part of that
and we need to do something about it.
Environment enforcement officer Rob will do whatever it takes
to stop this polluting practice.
We want to prevent the fly-tipping happening with the tyres.
What we've been looking at is signage put up
and regular patrols in the area.
Today Rob is checking out a dump reported by local residents.
We've got a serious issue with the burning of tyres, here.
A couple of weeks ago we had up to 70 tyres in this ditch here.
Since then, they've been burnt.
This is a serious issue because what's happened now
is that the chemicals will have gone into the soil and damaged the soil.
Any water what's running through here will pick up the chemicals.
The trees have been damaged, as you can see - burnt - and we're left with
some huge charred areas of metal. Metal is spread all over.
This is quite a serious issue, environmentally.
You're telling me.
You can't get much more filthy and rotten than this.
Tyre fires are notoriously difficult to extinguish
and the oil and heavy metals they contain
create whopping air and ground pollution
and this mounting toxic problem is very difficult to link to a culprit.
I mean, it's not like your average tyre carries any ID.
Ideally, we'd like to be able to find evidence within this waste.
Unfortunately, we can't investigate it unless we've got proof
of where it's come from, so it's just a case of clear-up
and clear-ups are very expensive.
But don't despair. The fight-back has begun.
Some brilliant brains have come up with a way of giving tyres the equivalent of a fingerprint.
It's a liquid that even Harry Potter would be proud of.
This enables us to imprint these tyres with a special code.
The code then, basically, can track these tyres back to where they came from,
which is a really good piece of our armour to try and stop fly-tipping.
Sounds ingenious, doesn't it? And the best bit is how simple it is.
Rob's on his way to a regular inspection at a tyre garage,
where he'll mark all of their used tyres.
What this does is it harbours a specific identification code within it.
Each bottle leaves an invisible unique code on the tyre,
which means it can be traced back to a particular garage.
Amazing, but there's nothing hi-tech about the process.
Go on - get stuck in, Rob.
I'm just going to drop some of this on. Very simple procedure.
It just goes straight on and it marks it straightaway.
Bish, bash, bosh. I told you it wasn't exactly hi-tech.
Every splash that goes on here has the unique code for this bottle
and then if these are found fly-tipped, we'll be able to identify it.
An unscrupulous tyre-disposal company would not be able to see the markings.
They're only visible using a special hand-held device.
Can you see how it's glowing? So if we came across these tyres,
we'd have to take a sample of the area
and that would go along to be identified to the lab.
You can see the identification number what's gone onto these tyres here.
But for Rob, that will just be the beginning of his investigation.
He could be looking at a rogue disposal company,
who will take a garage's money but just fly-tip the tyres,
or a dodgy garage who want to avoid legitimate disposal costs.
Like I say, we try to do it right by getting people to take them away,
which costs probably between £12-15,000 a year
which actually comes out the profits of the company
Other companies who are doing the fly-tipping,
if they're not paying for them to be taken away,
they're £12-15,000 a year better off than what we are.
That's a lot of money to any company.
For a crime where it's almost impossible to collar a culprit
unless they're caught red-handed, this liquid is a real leap forward.
We think it's a really good tool for identifying the fly-tipping of tyres
and it's a good way forward.
'It gives us an avenue of investigation.'
Tyres are one of the most difficult forms of waste to dispose of
and a mind-blowing 50 million of the things are discarded every year in Britain.
Under EU law, chucking used tyres into landfill has been banned
since 2003. A significant proportion are now recycled, retreaded
or safely burnt for energy. But for all the rogues out there
who are thinking of just dumping them, beware.
This magic liquid is coming to find you.
All aboard again now for a cruise along Britain's beautiful canals.
Narrowboating should be a joyful glide through unspoilt countryside
but there's a constant blot on the horizon.
Some idiots will come and throw rubbish in
because they can't be bothered to deal with it.
They probably look at the canals as a convenient dumping ground,
throw it and forget it.
It's disgusting. We don't like messes on our bankside,
nor in the canal.
Is that clear enough for you, litter louts?
At least the rubbish left canalside
or floating on the water is easy to reach,
but when it sinks, there's only one way to find it -
pull out the plug.
This stretch of canal through Manchester city centre
is so polluted, it's having to be drained
so a team of intrepid deep cleaners can go in to root out the rubbish.
They've got waders on. They're at least thigh waders if not chest waders.
They've got waterproof coats, lifejackets.
We've got hard hats because we don't want anything falling on them.
Obviously, protective gloves.
They have to be vigilant in there.
We do sometimes in certain locations find syringes,
so they need to be aware of that and know how to deal with that.
There's a layer of silt in the bottom of the canal,
so wading through is a difficult process,
never mind carrying the junk we're taking out.
Some of that's quite heavy, quite bulky,
so, yeah, it isn't easy.
That's the understatement of the year, Mark. It's dangerous and disgusting work.
Oops! Steady on.
What have you got there? It looks like half a bus stop.
And there's more, much more.
Road cones. Is that a pub sign?
A table and chairs? More road cones.
A bike. Lost party shoe.
A cigarette bin. And more chairs?
You can hardly believe that Manchester folk have a seat to sit on.
A planter and a shrub
and a veritable sea of glasses and plastic cups.
There's even a three-metre long cast-iron girder.
It's just extraordinary to think
that people deliberately choose to dump here.
People have actually physically thought to themselves,
"Yes, I'm going to take this to the canal
"and I'm going to throw it in there," and they do.
And it's not just the narrowboat people who suffer.
There's consequences for us landlubbers, too.
The problem that we find with the rubbish on the canal bed
is that it can block up our by-washes,
which is our mechanism for excess water to get round
that lock. If we have that being blocked up,
then we're quite likely to have flooding issues,
whether that might be flooding the towpath or a bigger effect,
depending on the location - it could flood wider areas.
So we all benefit from a clean-up, not just the narrowboaters,
who can sail through without fear of dangerous floaters
jamming up their propellers.
We're supposed to be coming down these locks tomorrow, so hopefully,
British Waterways will have finished here,
and it's a good job because we might have caught a lot of this stuff they've got in here,
got that caught on our prop.
So at least this is one area where we know we're not going to have any problems.
By the end of the operation, nearly three tons
of canal rubbish has been collected.
Unbelievable! Well done, guys.
That's a brilliant job you've done for the community, so they can enjoy this amenity.
People love to come down here,
they cycle, they walk and jog, just enjoy themselves
by the waterside. It's where people want to be.
And when people tip stuff in the canal,
that spoils it for those people
and ruins something which is a wonderful leisure facility
that we have in this country.
Well said, sir.
So, how's it going along the waterways in Coventry?
The volunteers are doing their valiant best
with their low-tech if effective equipment - litter tongs.
But they have a secret weapon -
Roland, a man who knows all the dumping hotspots.
There's usually a spot up here on the side
where they all have a party.
-The most I've got is 400 cans from one spot.
You find that at bridges, especially where there's a pavement on them,
that's where a lot of the rubbish is.
People just throw it over. We've just litter-picked here.
But also with the bigger rubbish, the fly-tipped stuff,
in the bridge hole here, there'll be like bin bags, trolleys,
where people have thrown it over and it's out of sight, out of mind.
It's got so bad that boaters have had to change the way they drive.
I mean, a common thing for boaters to do now, sailing under bridges,
is to just knock the gearbox into neutral, stop the prop from spinning
and you sail under the bridge. You go up and over a push-bike.
You can tell they're there because the boat makes a graunching noise
as you go over the obstruction. Put it back into gear and sail on.
Want to know what a graunching noise sounds like?
SCRAPING AND BANGING
What is this one?
We've just hit something.
That there, from past experience, is builders' rubble.
But it's a lump of concrete. You can't get a hook on it to remove it,
so I would say that builders' waste and random concrete
and sometimes bricks and stones is the hardest thing for us to get out and causes...
As you can see, we're hitting the bottom now.
It can damage the boats.
Even if the litter tongs can't get at builders' rubble,
the team has still collected
an alarming amount of rubbish from the canal.
A builder's sackful like this one
is the equivalent of three wheelie bins,
and let's not forget that this is after just one week of littering.
If you think that the guys had been out last week
and today we've collected that much rubbish,
you can have an idea of how much, how quickly,
the canal gets filled with rubbish.
It doesn't take much to just take the rubbish somewhere else.
Well said, Raffy. Let's enjoy our canals.
They're a fantastic resource in the countryside and the cities.
It's a rotten job, but luckily there's a whole army of people
working tirelessly to keep our streets clean
and our countryside green and pleasant.
Join us next time
when we'll be chasing down more filthy, rotten scoundrels.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
This episode takes a look at the incredible amount of rubbish found hidden underwater in Britain's canals, and goes on patrol with the Westminster wardens trying to stop people urinating in the street after a night out. Plus the hidden cameras that caught two flagrant fly-tippers in the Oxfordshire countryside.