Fly-tipping – the illegal dumping of waste materials on public land – cost taxpayers across England a whopping £10.9 million in the year 2019/20.
Councils around the country – including Suffolk, Norfolk and East Cambridgeshire where environmentally-conscious skip hire firm SunSkips operates – reported a surge in fly-tipping after recycling centres closed during lockdown, but incidents still remain high now they’re open again.
According to the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra), just under one million incidents were recorded in England in 2019/20, an increase of 2% from 2018/19.
Of these incidents, 33,000 were of “tipper lorry load” size or larger – which is what costs taxpayers the most to have cleared as it often involves heavy machinery and difficult extractions, such as pulling sodden mattresses and sofas from rivers.
Fly-tipping to the amount that would fill a small van makes up 34% of all incidents – a shocking statistic when a simple call to a local skip hire firm could take care of it legally for as little as £130.
Suffolk alone was already seeing more than 3,000 incidents of fly-tipping before the first national Covid-19 lockdown.
But while the East of England has suffered a relatively lower number of fly-tipping incidents compared with the more problematic London area, two thirds of offenders were individuals clearing out their attics and garages during lockdown.
Black bags and other household waste accounted for the majority of the dumped waste (69%) – private waste that could easily be taken care of with a low-cost, two-yard skip.
Fly-tipping causes more than just environmental damage – it takes the council’s focus away from providing households with basic waste collection and recycling services.
Not only are local authorities obliged to clear the rubbish, they also have to launch a costly investigation to find the culprit – a bill which also lands on the taxpayer’s doormat.
The most common place fly-tippers dump rubbish is by the side of public highways, but residents have discovered bags of refuse discarded at the side of country lanes, in back alleyways, and even in private residences.
Some incidents have caused serious disputes between neighbours and even resulted in aggressive confrontations.
Mathew Stewart, managing director of SunSkips, said it’s time people started cleaning up their own mess.
He said, ”If people don’t start using proper waste management services, we’re going to see a huge impact on the environment – and even tourism.
“Who’s going to want to visit the beautiful English countryside when it’s covered in rubbish?”
1. Report any incidents of fly-tipping in your community to the local authorities or the Environment Agency by calling 03708 506 506.
2. Always hire reputable waste management services and skips – especially when you have to dispose of difficult items like refrigerators, dry paint or televisions.
3. Educate others on the environmental impact of fly-tipping and the damage it can do to the community.
4. Invest in proper waste management to save money – because the hefty fines for fly-tipping can run up to £50,000.
5. Verify your waste management provider is accredited with the proper licenses for waste carrying. Unlicensed businesses could be fly-tipping themselves.
Don’t ever risk fly-tipping. Give SunSkips a call on 01449 360 036 and let us take care of your waste the legal and environmentally friendly way.