Using artificial intelligence to help clean up fly-tipping hotspots

Published: Tuesday, 1st August 2023

Three new artificial intelligence CCTV cameras will boost the council’s coverage of fly-tipping hotspots.

It is the latest chapter of the city’s war against environmental criminals who dump waste on Birmingham’s streets.

Aston, Erdington and North Edgbaston wards will be home to the new cameras, funded by a £45,000 government grant announced in April of this year.

The cameras – which are the first of their kind to be used locally – can detect images of suspected dumped rubbish and then automatically alert council officers to the incident, so they don’t have to manually trawl through hours of recorded footage after fly-tipping occurs.

The council’s successful bid for the funding outlined that fly-tipping data, plus information from waste enforcement and street cleansing officers, had identified locations in each of the three wards that could benefit from the technology. The cameras will be supplemented by posters and other forms of communications and engagement with the local communities in the wards involved.

Operating as a pilot initially, a full evaluation of the success of the cameras will be carried out, with the units then added to the wider pool of CCTV operated across the city to catch culprits with no regard for the city’s cleanliness.

Cllr Majid Mahmood, Cabinet Member for Environment, said: “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.”

Anyone with any information on dumped waste in Birmingham can report cases via


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