Thursday, 02 March 2017 11:28

Rural fly-tipping incidents on the rise

Written by  Ruralcity Media
Rural fly-tipping incidents on the rise

Fly-tipping incidents are on the rise – with more rubbish being illegally dumped in rural areas.

Local authorities dealt with 936,000 fly-tipping incidents in 2015/16, according to the latest government statistics.

This represents a 4% per cent increase over 2014/15.

The most common place for fly-tipping to occur was on highways, which accounted for half of total incidents in 2015/16, a 7.9% increase on 2014/15.

    See also: New action plan to tackle fly-tipping

But the statistics suggest more offenders are choosing quieter rural locations rather than urban streets and alleys to dump their rubbish.

Incidents of fly-tipping on footpaths and bridleways increased by 8% during the year compared to a 6.7% decline in back alleyways.

Some 67% of fly-tips involved household waste, an increase of 65% from 2014/15.

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

The second largest size category for fly-tipping incidents was a 'car boot', which accounted for 29% of total incidents by size.

These findings are consistent with the 2014/15 year.

The cost of clearance for fly-tipping to local authorities in England was £49.8m, with councils carrying out some 494,000 enforcement actions.

These ranged from investigations and warning letters to fixed penalities.

Some 36,000 fixed penalty notices were issued in 2015/16, accounting for 7% of all enforcement actions, a 5.9% decrease from 38,000 penality notices in 2014/15.

The figures have prompted farmers and landowners to call for more action to tackle the problem.

Large scale co-ordinated dumping was now a regular occurrence and thousands of tonnes of rubbish were blighting the countryside, said the NFU.

Rubbish included clinical waste and rubble from construction sites – as well as large domestic items such as washing machines, fridges, sofas, mattresses and furniturre.

Current rules mean farmers and landowners are left facing hefty bills to remove fly-tipped waste from their land.

NFU deputy president Minette Batters said the solution was better collaboration between all those affected parties.

"Fly-tipping is the scourge of the countryside – clearly we are disappointed that the number of fly-tipping incidents has increased," said Ms Batters.

She added: "We need a broader government strategy that allows incidents to be reported more effectively and cleared up [and] intelligence to be shared more easily.|"

A campaign was also needed to raise awareness among householders on their responsibilities when disposing of unwanted waste.

People in this conversation

  • Guest (Malcolm Carson)


    There are a very few people spoiling our environment for the many. There is little deterrent and unfortunately the people involved don't give a monkeys about everyone else or their environment. It's time that a punishment that fits the crime is used to counter "fly-Tipping". When offenders are caught, and I include those who throw bags of rubbish from their moving cars, they should have to pay a hefty fine and be made to clear up publicly, in recognisable uniform and their names published.

  • Guest (Duncan Rimmer)


    I agree with Malcolm - we have a problem in our village of someone dumping things on a side road next to our play area .
    The Council used to move it but they have now decided that the lane is NOT a registered lane so have refused to have it moved !!!. We are trying to find a way in which we can fix a camera to record the action.

    from Riccall, York YO19, UK
  • Guest (Jane Wright)


    As local authorities make it less and less attractive to use HW&RC (shorter opening hours, restrictions on vehicles, limits on quantity, charging etc.) why is anyone surprised that fly-tipping is on the increase? A classic case of false economy in my view.

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