Waste Management

01.09.15

More money going on fly-tipping when it could fund critical services – LGA

Fly-tipping across England is continuing to rise, with the cost to councils escalating, new figures show. 

A Freedom of Information request by the Press Association to more than 200 councils, who gave information for the past three financial years, highlighted that the number of incidents rose in 2014-2015 to 529,462 up from 527,777 the previous year. The latest figures were up 16% compared to 2012-13. 

For the 144 councils that supplied financial data, the total spent on clean-up costs for fly-tipping was £16.2m, up from just below £16m in 2013-14 and £13.6m in 2012-13. 

Cllr Peter Box, environment spokesperson for the LGA, said councils were spending tens of millions of pounds a year on fly-tipping clean-ups, which could be better spent on services such as protecting vulnerable children and keeping libraries open. 

He added that authorities could only take fly-tippers to court, when a fine would sometimes be the more appropriate response. 

“But new powers would ensure councils can go even further in addressing what is often not just an eyesore, but also a serious public health risk, creating pollution and attracting vermin,” said Cllr Box. 

Earlier this year, the LGA urged retailers to provide a ‘take back’ service after spending millions of pounds annually clearing up bulky waste and enforcing against record fly-tipping levels. 

Responding to the latest data, a Defra spokesman said: “Fly-tipping blights communities and poses a risk to human health, which is why tackling this issue is a priority for government. 

“We want everyone to enjoy a cleaner, healthier country and will build on our recent successes by introducing fixed penalty notices for small scale fly-tipping.”

(Image: c. MrsEd)

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