Fly-tipping is the illegal dumping of waste and is a scourge on our countryside. It can vary in scale from a single bin bag of household waste to the big, bad and ugly waste dumped from trucks. Fly-tipping is anti-social and the longer we fail to tackle to the root causes of this problem the worse this is going to get. The causes of fly-tipping are many and varied, as are the motivations of the perpetrators, although financial gain or financial saving is clearly a principal reason in the majority of cases. The Countryside Alliance released a report in 2007 calling for greater action, but sadly little seems to have moved on since then.

The National Fly-tipping Prevention Group, of which the Countryside Alliance is a member, has produced guidance notes for landowners, householders and businesses on how to prevent fly-tipping and what to do with fly-tipped waste. These notes are essential reading for anyone impacted by fly-tipping or with waste to dispose of.

We should all take responsibility and work together to help fight this blight.

Fly-tipping stats:

  • It costs an estimated £86m-£186 million every year to investigate and clear up. This cost falls on taxpayers and private landowners.
  • Local authorities dealt with nearly 900 thousand incidents of fly-tipping in 2014/15, an increase of 5.6 per cent since 2013/14 with nearly two thirds of fly-tips involving household waste.
  • The most common place for fly-tipping to occur was on highways which accounted for 48 per cent of total incidents in 2014/15.
  • Incidents of fly-tipping on footpaths, bridleways and back alleyways increased by 3.2 per cent in England in 2014/15. Together these now account for 28 per cent of fly-tipping incidents.
  • Nearly a 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 ‘car boot’ and accounted for nearly 30 per cent of total incidents.
  • The estimated cost of clearance of fly-tipping to local authorities in England in 2014/15 was nearly £50 million, an 11 per cent increase on 2013/14.