by Countryside Alliance

Defra has released its fly-tipping statistics for 2017/18 which shows a slight decrease of 1% in incidents.

Head of Policy at Countryside Alliance, Sarah Lee commented: “If we are going to tackle this scourge of fly-tipping then the Government must not only act on the recommendations of independent review into ‘serious and organised crime in the waste sector’ but go further and stop the injustice that means those who are the victim of it also have a responsibility to dispose of the waste legally. With nearly a million incidents of fly-tipping a year, nearly 20,000 a week, costing the public purse £12.2 million, we must give the criminals responsible real cause to fear the consequences of their actions. It is time for action where we must punish the perpetrators and not the victims.”

Key points:

  • For the 2017/18 year, local authorities in England dealt with just under 1 million (998,000) fly-tipping incidents, a slight decrease of 1% from the 1,011,000 reported in 2016/17, following annual increases since 2013/14.
  • Two thirds (66%) of fly-tips involved household waste. Total incidents involving household waste decreased by 4% from 2016/17.
  • Consistent with previous years, the most common place for fly-tipping to occur was on highways, which accounted for almost half (47%) of total incidents in 2017/18. The number of highway incidents has decreased by 7% from 2016/17.
  • As in the last few years, the most common size category for fly-tipping incidents in 2017/18 was equivalent to a ‘small van load’ (33% of total incidents), followed by the equivalent of a ‘car boot or less’ (28%).
  • In 2017/18 34,000 or 4% of total incidents were of ‘tipper lorry load’ size or larger, which is similar to 2016/17. For these large fly-tipping incidents, the cost of clearance to local authorities in England in 2017/18 was £12.2 million, compared with £9.9 million in 2016/17. This increase was driven by an increase in the number of incidents in the largest size category of ‘significant/multi loads’.
  • Local authorities carried out 494,000 enforcement actions in 2017/18, an increase of 18,000 actions (4%) from 2016/17.
  • The number of fixed penalty notices issued has continued to increase, up 20% to 69,000 from 2016/17 and up 91% on 2015/16. This is the second most common enforcement action (after investigations), and accounted for 14% of all enforcement actions in 2017/18.
  • For 2017/18, 44% of local authorities in England voluntarily provided a more detailed breakdown of fixed penalty notices issued. For these local authorities, 11% of fixed penalty notices were issued specifically for small scale fly-tipping, 52% in relation to littering and 37% in relation to other offences.

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