Antisocial, illegal, environmentally damaging and an unnecessary drain on stretched local authority resources, fly-tipping continues to be a significant waste issue for the UK.

According to figures from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), it costs taxpayers and private landowners an estimated £86m – £186m every year to investigate and clear up fly-tipping incidents.

In 2017/18, local authorities in England dealt with 998,000 fly-tipping incidents, one percent down from the 1,011,000 incidents reported the previous year, which had been on an upward trend since 2013/14.

Fly-tipping can, of course, vary significantly in scale, from a single dumped bin bag from a household or items left outside a closed charity shop, to a truck load of commercial waste. Defra’s latest figures for 2017/18 show that two-thirds of the reported fly-tips involved household waste, in line with previous years.

Highways were the most common place for fly-tipping to occur, accounting for 47 percent of incidents. And similar to previous years, the most common sized load was equivalent to a ‘small van load’ (33 percent of total incidents), followed by the equivalent of a ‘car boot or less’ (28 percent). In 2017/18,240,000 – or four percent of total incidents – were of ‘tipper lorry load’ size or larger – similar to 2016/17s figures.

The challenges faced by local authorities in tackling fly-tipping can vary considerably from area to area, even within individual authorities. The National Fly-Tipping Prevention Group (NFTPG) comprises a number of organisations working with a common aim to help tackle this sometimes complex problem.


Taken from:  March / April 2019