Fly-tipping incidents up 8% in England

Written by: Maddie Ballard | Published:
The most common place for fly-tipping to occur was on pavements and roads

Fly-tipping is on the rise in England having increased 8% from last year, a new report from Defra shows.

Statistics published this week show that local authorities in England dealt with 1,072,000 fly-tipping incidents in 2018/9, an increase of 8% from the 998,000 reported in 2017/8. Since 2013/4, fly-tipping incidents have generally increased year on year.

Defra’s report reveals a number of other disheartening trends. Nearly two thirds (62%) of fly-tips involved household waste, which can be easily disposed of at home, with total incidents involving household waste increasing by 2% from 2017/8.

As in previous years, the most common place for fly-tipping to occur was on pavements and roads, which made up 46% of total incidents. However the number of fly-tipping incidents on pavements and roads has increased by 6% from 2017/8.

The most common size category for fly-tipping incidents in the past year was a ‘small van load’ (33% of incidents), followed by a ‘car boot or less’ (30%), while 3% of total incidents were of ‘tipper lorry load’ size or larger, all of which is similar to 2017/8.

Clearing large incidents cost England’s local authorities a total of £12.9 million in 2018/9, compared with £12.2 million in 2017/8.

The report also shows an increase in enforcement actions and fixed penalty notices. Local authorities carried out 499,000 enforcement actions in 2018/9, up from 5,000 actions in 2017/8.

The number of fixed penalty notices issued grew by 11% from 2017/8 to 76,000. This was the second most common action taken in response to incidents, after investigations, and accounted for 15% of actions.

For 2018/9, 16% of fixed penalty notices were issued for small-scale fly-tipping, 48% were issued in relation to littering, and 36% related to other offences.

Waste management company Biffa deals with fly-tipping issues on a daily basis.

George Pearce, commercial development manager, said: “In our experience of dealing with the problem, the most effective way to solving fly-tipping is to take a holistic approach, working with councils and government bodies to tackle the problem from all angles.

“Currently the full scale of the problem is unclear as the extent of tipping on private and commercial land is much harder to analyse.”

Defra’s statistics are based on incidents and actions reported through WasteDataFlow and relate to section 33 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

Incidents involving the Environment Agency or cleared by private landowners are not part of the report.

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