Figures published this week showed that between April 2006 and March 2007, England’s 354 local councils dealt with more than 2.6m incidents of fly-tipping.

Of these, 1,289,410 were reported by Liverpool City Council to Flycapture, a national database of fly-tipping incidents and enforcement action.

The data also revealed that enforcement action taken by councils in the rest of the country is up 46%, but when Liverpool is included, this falls to just 16%.

Most of the fly-tipping in Liverpool involved single black bags, which it is believed were placed out for collection incorrectly in locations such as back alleys.

Government waste minister Joan Ruddock praised the national 5% rise in the number of incidents being tackled, but called on all local councils to work harder to rid their streets of dumped waste.

She said: “Despite some good progress over the past year – including more reporting and more enforcement – there is far too much fly-tipping blighting our streets and countryside.

“It is not acceptable and councils must do more to tackle it.

“Councils as diverse as Sheffield, Worthing and Milton Keynes are driving down fly-tipping through targeted, concerted action. I want other councils to follow their lead.”

Ms Ruddock added that the Government is currently reviewing waste legislation to make it easier for local councils tackle the problem and is funding programme to train local authority employees on fly-tipping laws.

The statistics showed councils spent £24.6m a year on enforcement action – only £6.8m of which was spent by Liverpool City Council.

Local authorities also carried out 1,371 prosecutions in 2006-07 and were successful in 94% of cases.

Most of the dumped rubbish recorded in England was in urban areas and involved household waste.

Kate Martin

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