Fly-tipping falls 7.5%

Fly-tipping is down across England and local authorities are doing more than ever to enforce laws to stop people dumping their rubbish - but more than a million incidents are still recorded every year.

The latest figures provided by councils to the Government’s Flycapture database show that incidents of fly-tipping on public land in 2007-08 have fallen by 7.5% compared to the previous year.

But local authorities still had to clear up 1.28m piles of illegally dumped waste – costing tax payers an estimated £73.8m.

Excluding data from Liverpool – which last year made a major error in its reporting – the total of incidents is 1.24m, which is a drop of 7.5% compared to the previous year’s data from UK councils excluding Liverpool.

Ministers said last year’s figures were seriously distorted by Liverpool City Council, which reported thousands of “small household waste fly-tips” which should not have been included.

The city was left looking like the fly-tipping capital of England after reporting nearly 1.3m incidents, nearly half of all those reported by England’s 354 local authorities (see related story).

Waste Minister Jane Kennedy said: “Fly-tipping is unacceptable and a blight on public land.

“I am pleased to see the decrease in incidents but we still need to work on the serious environmental and social problem of fly-tipping.”

Flycapture data also revealed a 26% increase in the number of enforcement actions issued by local authorities.

Between April 2007 and March 2008, there were 1,871 prosecutions for fly-tipping. Ninety-five per cent of these were successful.

The Local Government Authority (LGA), which had lobbied for the tougher powers to tackle fly-tipping given by the Cleaner Neighbourhoods Act, said the figures showed councils are “continuing to prioritise action against fly-tipping and waste crime”.

Kate Martin

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie