The most recent statistics for fly tipping in England show that in 2016/17, local authorities dealt with about 1 million incidents—a seven percent increase from the previous year.
Most of this (two-thirds) was household waste and the total number of incidents involving such waste rose by eight percent, compared to the previous year.
Not only is fly tipping dangerous, unsightly and illegal, it’s expensive. The estimated costs of clearance for local authorities in 2016/17 hit a massive £57.7 million.
A Commons Briefing paper gives a general overview of the problem and sets out recent Government actions to tackle it and the proposals for reform.
Fly tipping is the illegal dumping of household, industrial or commercial waste without a waste management licence. It isn’t the same as littering. Local authorities investigate, clear and take the appropriate action to enforce the laws for small-scale fly-tipping on public land.
The Environment Agency takes responsibility for larger scale fly tipping, which is quantified as more than a lorry load, or if it’s hazardous waste and fly tipping by organised gangs. If waste has been dumped on private ground, it is usually the landowner who needs to remove and dispose of it.
Local authorities and the Environment Agency have legal powers to make landowners clear fly tipping from their land, and they can also enter the land to clear it themselves though they may seek reimbursement for the costs.
What are the penalties? A fine of up to £50,000 or 12 months’ imprisonment, or an unlimited fine and up to five years’ imprisonment if the perpetrator is convicted in the Crown Court.
New campaigns have called for changes to the law—private landlords concerned about the costs. But the Government has said it doesn’t intend to change the law here.
The reform that are planned, however, relate to situations where householders allow unauthorised people to take waste away which is then fly tipped. In January of this year, the Government published a consultation on proposals to address crime and shoddy performance in the waste sector. The consultation suggested a new fixed penalty for the waste duty of care.
Brendan O’Shea, Just Clear’s founder and director, said: “I’m shocked that so much fly tipping goes on and that it costs our local authorities so much money. Local authorities struggle. The demand on social care services is at an all-time high and it’s terrible that money that could go towards caring for our older people has to be diverted to clearing up after people dumping waste.
“Just Clear offers many services that quickly and efficiently remove large-scale waste, from garden clearance to probate estate, hoarder and more. We’re experts in the art of safe, legal and environmentally friendly disposal, and we’re cost effective. If you have any waste you need disposed of, please give us a call.”