If Veolia don’t respond to your reports, they get fined.
Most of you will not have read the entire length of the analysis of Veolia’s Payments and Performance Schedule. However those that did picked up time and time again on the power of using Clean Camden.
What is Clean Camden?
It is an app available for your mobile phone, and is also available online. You set up an account, and the gist of it is essentially you take photos of litter and upload them, with some geolocation and description. These reports are uploaded to a website which all can access, and Veolia and Camden employees use it to work out what work they need to do and where.
But it is more than just that. This app has hidden powers that bring the power back to the people.
In essence, Veolia are fined varying sums of money if they don’t respond to your reports quick enough.
How to use Clean Camden
It, unfortunately, is not quite as simple as just taking a photo and that being that. There is an art to using Clean Camden, otherwise Veolia may well claim that it was impossible to find your report.
You must first set up an account using your email. This can be a faff as with all Camden things, it only works one time in ten, and you may have problems with getting a confirmation email and things like that.
Then you are ready to start reporting
1) LOCATE THE PROBLEM
The app will automatically find your position using GPS. However you must bear in mind that this is going to be your location and not the problem’s location. You can hold the icon and drag it to where the issue is. Try to get it as absolutely precise and accurate as possible.
2) TAKE THE PHOTO
Take the photo, but don’t just zoom right in on whatever you are reporting. You need to get the background in the photo as well. This will help to locate the problem. For example, if you are taking a photo of some dog fouling, don’t just zoom right in on the dog poo so that the photo is a piece of dog poo on a bit of pavement. That photo could be from anywhere in the world. Take a photo which includes the dog fouling but gets some other things in as well – a street sign, a lamp post, anything.
You can also add multiple photos, so you can take photos from multiple angles if you have time just to absolutely rule out confusion.
3) ADD A DESCRIPTION
Describe the problem, but also describe the location. Try to make it as precise as possible. Try to find an address if possible, or just pick out the nearest landmarks. Describe how long the problem has been there. Again, you don’t want Veolia to turn around and say that it was impossible to find.
4) CHOOSE A CATEGORY
The categories unfortunately are not totally extensive but include the usual things like ‘litter’ and ‘graffiti’.
5) SEND OFF YOUR REPORT
Send off your report.
The app keeps a record of your reports so that you can check back on them. It sometimes happens that Veolia will mark your report as being responded to when it has not. Make sure that if you see the same problem you report it again and point out their foul play.
If by the same time next day the problem isn’t resolved, it’s time to take another report. That is true except for fly posting, where Veolia have a week to respond.
There are different levels of fines for different problems, and different time limits to respond to reports. We are seeking clarification on the exact numbers so as to not publish anything imprecise.
Roughly, though, if a bin is not emptied within two hours of your report, Veolia face a fine of about £30.
If a road isn’t swept within 12h of your report, Veolia face a fine of about £25. If you find that indeed the road isn’t swept within 12h, make another report. If they don’t sweep the road within 6h of that report, they face a fine of about £70.
Similar schemes exist for missed collections, repeat missed collections, fly posting and graffiti, and mess caused by workmen while emptying bins.
Whatever your problem, just keep reporting it until it is resolved. We will soon post an update setting out the exact deduction schedule.
What to do next
Clean Camden is useful to have for day to day reports. It is also useful to go on a walk and blitz your local area. It is incredible how many ‘transects’ you will find. We went on a roughly half mile walk and found a total of 52 transects to report. We shall see how Veolia respond to this.
An Update – the next Day.
The next morning we have found Veolia have sent out a little machine to clean the roads and the driver gets out to sweep things into its path.
The roads which we reported are mostly the best they have looked forever.
A Further Update.
We had issues with Veolia operatives, overloaded with work, skipping tasks and marking them as completed.
We pointed these out to the local SAMO (Senior Area Monitoring Officer) and he confirmed that Camden were actively investigating these issues.
We have been assured that such things will not happen again. Be sure to let us know if you experience any issues yourselves with falsely completed reports.