TRADERS and businesses are being urged to support the council's campaign to clean up Croydon and help rid the borough of fly-tipping.
The campaign was launched at Monday's cabinet meeting by Councillor Stuart Collins, the cabinet member for Clean Green Croydon.
It is the latest move in efforts to educate people about the evils of dumping rubbish as part of the Don't Mess with Croydon initiative.
It was immediately dismissed as a "glitzy gimmick" by Cllr Collins' Conservative number, Councillor Phil Thomas, who maintained that despite claims the borough was getting cleaner "people are still messing with Croydon."
Under the new campaign both businesses and residents will be visited by council officers and urged to sign pledges agreeing to keep Croydon clean by not dumping litter, keeping the front and rear of their property clear of rubbish, reporting fly-tipping and littering and increasing recycling.
Businesses are also being asked to pledge that they will have valid trade waste agreements for disposal of rubbish in place and clear up outside their premises at least once a day.
Traders and residents signing up to the pledge will be given stickers to display on their windows.
Cllr Collins said: "We will never give up on talking to people in this borough to change their minds about fly-tipping. We will brainwash those people who feel they have to fly-tip."
He said after the meeting the campaign was part of wider education programme which would be backed up by the prosecution of fly-tippers through the courts, if necessary.
He said: "The most important thing is to change the culture and change people's attitudes and to be able to do that we need to involve traders and residents."
He added educational programmes would also be stepped up in schools to encourage children take home the anti-litter and recycling messages to their parents.
Dismissing the idea of the campaign being a gimmick, Cllr Collins said: "There is a group of people out there who are not getting the message about recycling and fly-tipping and we have got to get to them. We have got to keep on and on."
Cllr Thomas told Monday's meeting that in the first seven months of Labour control of the council incidents of fly-tipping has risen from 8,700 to 10,863.
He said: "What we are not doing is sorting the problem out, what we need is more enforcement officers and more mobile CCTV to catch offenders."
He said Labour was claiming there was no money for this kind of expansion but said it could be found by not wasting £200,000 on setting up the Fairness Commission and not spending £250,000 on paying seven union officials.
Councillor Alison Butler, the cabinet member for homes and regeneration, told Monday's meeting that the number of fly-tipping incidents had increased because more were being reported in the knowledge the rubbish would be cleared.