2 April 2020

Fly Tipping Figures Set to Soar

Read Time: 4 mins

Fly Tipping Figures Set To Soar

With local councils across the UK beginning to cancel bin collections or reduce service levels, fly-tipping figures are looking to be sent skyward. Compounded by the closure of many local recycling centres and civil amenity sites, there is a real danger that unregistered waste carriers will capitalise on overflowing bins across the country and turn a profit for themselves in the process.

Fly-tipping, also known as fly dumping and illegal dumping is defined as the ‘illegal deposit of any waste onto land that does not have a licence to accept it’. From household waste, bulky items and WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) items to dumping construction materials and demolition waste, not only are you the victim if it’s left on your land, but you’re also responsible for its removal.

If that sounds unjust, that’s because it is. And what makes matters worse is that fly-tipping figures are on the up across the UK.

Fly Tipping – Facts and Figures

Before even considering tip closures and cancelled bin collections, 2019 witnessed over one million (1,072,000) reported instances of fly-tipping, which is an 8% increase on the figures from 2017/18.

Nearly two thirds (62%) of these reported incidents were attributed to household waste which could have easily been disposed of responsibly. The most common location for tipping was highways such as pavements and roads, and this accounted for almost half (46%) of the total incidents reported in 2018/19.

Most notable is the prominence of the ‘small van load’ which made up 33% of total incidents, which was followed closely by the equivalent volume of a ‘car boot or less’ (30%). These figures suggest the prominence of domestic users and unregistered waste carriers who are unwilling to pay landfill tax or the relevant gate fees in order to responsibly dispose of their waste.

waste graphic

Fly Tipping and the Law

The laws and legislation around fly-tipping can be simplified down to one fact: it’s illegal.

The hazards associated with fly-tipping are often understated as it is thought to be a victimless crime of sorts. But the hazards include danger to animals, children and the general public whether through sharp items, unhygienic conditions or physical injuries. There is also the additional damage to watercourses and soil, where hazardous substances may seep down into other areas and have a detrimental, long-lasting effect on its surroundings, local wildlife and water supplies.

It goes without saying that any notion of recycling is also removed from the equation whenever fly-tipping is involved, so the damage to the environment is yet another unwelcome by-product.

Using a cheap removal service might result in a hefty fine landing on your doorstep as the waste will still be considered your responsibility. Instead, always use a registered waste carrier service, such as Clearabee’s bulky waste or sofa removal service. These services provide an electronic Waste Transfer Note, which forms a key part of your Duty of Care and furnishes you with the full peace of mind that your waste has been responsibly removed.

moving a sofa downstairs

However, it’s not only those looking to dodge the landfill tax or a gate fee who are the perpetrators of fly-tipping: organised criminal gangs are fly-tipping waste as part of an illegal rubbish removal service. The Express and Star reported that with regard to such instances in the West Midlands; “South Staffordshire saw the biggest rise, with 60 incidents of large-scale fly-tipping in 2019 when compared with 2012.”

Speaking to The Express and Star, Yvonne Davies, Sandwell Council Councillor said; “As a council, we are very effective at dealing with fly-tipping and in the past two years we have issued 165, £400, fines to people who we have been able to prove are responsible for fly-tipping rubbish in Sandwell.”

Councillor Angela Lax of Lichfield District Council also told The Express and Star that criminal gangs have been utilising private land and warehouses, and that landowners and businesses should be vigilant in securing their properties.

Further south, ITV reported that four out of five of the UK’s worst places for fly-tipping are in London. The boroughs of Brent, Croydon, Hounslow and Haringey were the victims of the highest number of tips in the country, with 32,4261 incidents recorded in 2018/19 alone. This figure represents nearly a third of the UK’s reported fly-tipping sites.

However, Leeds Live reported that their city experienced 89 instances each day on average, with a shocking 54 dead animals being reported along with 51 examples where medical waste was fly-tipped.

A Leeds City Council representative told the publication; “We take waste crime extremely seriously, which is reflected in our strong track record of prosecuting criminals and seizing assets of those who continue to handle and dump waste illegally and for profit. Quite simply fly-tipping is a crime which has a significant impact on our communities and we will not tolerate it.”

Fly Tipping – What can you do?

If you’re a victim of fly-tipping then there are options available to you. It is of paramount importance that you report any fly-tipping instances that you witness. Local authorities across the UK carried out 499,000 enforcement actions in the year 2018/19 and issued 76,000 fixed penalty notices in 2018/19.

Fines also increased in 2018/19, with the value of total fines climbing to £1,090,000, which was a 29% increase on the previous year.

If you’re a private landowner who has been saddled with waste due to fly-tipping, then the responsibility to remove the rubbish is, unfortunately, yours along with the costs implied. The local authority or Environmental Agency may be able to offer advice or even remove the waste, but this usually involves signposting towards a list of registered waste carriers.

Your local council and Environmental Agency is not obliged to remove bulky waste though. For commercial waste projects, you’ll need to employ the services of a registered waste carrier to ensure that your waste is being disposed of in accordance with the letter of the law. Using a registered waste carrier such as Clearabee will ensure that you won’t need to pay a gate fee or landfill tax.

Not only does Clearabee send you an electronic copy of your Waste Transfer Note, but we will also keep a copy on file, just in case you need it for future reference. Our Waste Transfer Notes form a complete and concise record, detailing the vehicle registration, the time and date of collection as well as the nature of the waste collected.

Once the collection has been received at the relevant local Waste Transfer Station, we will also be able to provide you with the details of the station in question, as well as the recycling rate for the waste collected, which is usually more than 95%.

These measures will ensure your complete confidence in Clearabee and the fact that your waste has been disposed of in the most responsible manner, both with regards to the environment and the law.

waste site graphic

Our ‘man and van’ rubbish removal service is the largest in the UK, the most reviewed on TrustPilot and the perfect solution to deal with the side effects of fly-tipping on your property.

Removing Rubbish. It’s what we do.

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