UK fly-tipping bill reaches almost £50m

Enfield council in London spent the most at almost £2.71 million


A London council has spent the most cleaning up fly-tipping as authorities across the country battled a rise for the third year in a row as they spent almost £50 million.

Enfield council in London spent the most, with the fly tipping bill for the area coming to £2.71 million.

See also: Fly tipper blames crime on imaginary identical twin brother

See also: Woman who paid man to take rubbish away is fined for fly-tipping

Manchester council had to pay around £2.15 million to clear up fly tips and was the second biggest bill in the country.

Councils across England reported 936,090 cases of fly-tipping in 2015/2016, up 4% on the previous year, the data from the Environment Department (Defra) reveals.

Clearing up the fly-tipped rubbish cost councils £49.8 million.

Credits: Manchester Evening News

Almost half of the rubbish illegally tipped was dumped on highways

Local authorities carried out 494,000 enforcement actions to tackle the problem which blights towns and countryside, costing them £16.9 million, a reduction of nearly £700,000 on 2014/2015.

As the figures were published, campaigners warned financial pressure on local councils had caused some waste collection services to be cut, which people had "taken as a licence to dump their waste illegally".

Around half of the rubbish illegally tipped, which ranges from fridges, tyres and vehicle parts to rubble and black bags of household waste, was dumped on highways.

A third of all incidents consisted of a quantity of material equivalent to a "small van load".

The figures do not yet show if new powers for councils to hand out "on-the-spot" fines of up to £400 for fly-tipping incidents, which came into force in May 2016, have helped reduce the problem.

A Press Association analysis earlier this year revealed councils had handed out hundreds of thousands of pounds in fines, but more than half of English local authorities had not used the powers.

The Defra figures suggest fly-tipping incidents have fallen from more than 1.28 million in 2007/2008 to around 711,500 cases in 2012/2013 before starting to rise again, although the changes may in part be down to the way councils record the data.

Credits: Irvine Herald

More than half of English local authorities have not used powers to fine offenders

The Environment Agency dealt with 125 major fly-tipping cases in 2015/2016, including six incidents of illegally dumping asbestos, 11 large-scale tyre dumps and 26 cases of tipping chemical drums, oil or fuel.

Samantha Harding, litter programme director at the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), said: "Financial pressure on local councils has caused some local collection services to be cut and it seems that people have taken this as a licence to dump their waste illegally.

"There needs to be a review of England's struggling waste management systems, with a new ambitious programme to haul them into the 21st century.

"We cannot afford to waste our valuable resources in this way."

Credits: PA

Some fly-tipping incidents have involved the dumping of chemical drums and asbestos

Country Land and Business Association (CLA) president Ross Murray said: "These figures do not tell the full story of this disgraceful behaviour which blights our beautiful countryside.

"Local authorities tend not to get involved with clearing incidences of fly-tipped waste from private land leaving the landowner to clean up and foot the bill."

CLA members have reported a big increase in fly-tipping, with incidents ranging from unwanted sofas to broken washing machines, building materials and even asbestos dumped in the countryside, he said.

The CLA is calling for a zero-tolerance approach by local government to the problem, imposing and enforcing stronger penalties, ensuring powers to use fixed penalty notices and seize vehicles are used and reducing council fees to legally dispose of.

Areas with the biggest fly tipping costs

Local authority / incidents of fly tipping / cost / fines

Enfield / 70,930 / £2,707,361 / £11,070

Manchester / 22,251 / £2,149,099 / £34,958

Haringey / 34,975 / £1,743,788 / £2,000

Newham c / 32,718 / £1,491,719 / £0

Leeds / 15,531 / £1,013,460 / £2,253

Liverpool / 20,016 / £979,402 / £0

Southwark / 21,359 / £808,757 / £0

Bradford / 11,391 / £728,047 / £5,628

Brent / 13,198 / £716,162 / £7,521

Hackney / 6,917 / £685,663 / £21,061

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