AnyJunk Fly Tipping Report 2012

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

AnyJunk, the UK's largest private bulk waste clearance company, had released its Fly Tipping Report 2012 and things still are quite bad and in some cases are getting worse as regards to fly tipping on public land. Tell me about it; I know and I see it daily.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         AnyJunk surveyed 316 councils in England under the Freedom of Information Act about incidents, costs, and prosecutions 1 of fly tipping on public land during the 12 month period ended 31 Mar-12.

Results of the survey were that there were – from the information received 732,052 fly tipping incidents on public land, which is, according to statistics, a 9.1% fall compared to previous year (805,320).

The situation is that the incidents of fly tipping in 191 councils (60%) fell while in the case of 120 councils (38%) reported increases, while 1 council remained unchanged and 4 councils did not reply (so were assumed to have remained unchanged).

According to the survey results £33m was spent by councils clearing up fly tipping and only 0.6% of fly tipping incidents were successfully prosecuted/ The latter does not surprise me at all seeing – time and again – the reluctance of councils to prosecute even if they have evidence to do so, including witnesses.

Irrespective of the 9% fall overall, more than 1/3 of councils saw fly tipping increase and despite only 0.6% of incidents resulting in a successful prosecution, Defra states councils spend an additional £15m-£20m each year on enforcement actions against fly tipping.

Adding the cost of enforcement to the cost of clear-up suggests the total cost annual of fly tipping to councils in England is around £50m. In addition, the costs of dealing with fly tipped waste on private land (borne by residents and businesses directly) are likely to be at least as much again. In other words, fly tipping is still a £100m a year problem.

Suggestions for change could be to analyze best performing and most improved councils to create an action list of best practice to assist other councils.

AnyJunk suggests that such an analysis should include comparisons of:

  • cost and scope of bulky waste collection service, frequency of domestic refuse

  • collection, costs of commercial tipping rates, costs of skip permits and parking

  • suspensions, availability and accessibility of CA sites, level and success rate of

  • enforcement proceedings, and population density

  • Expansion of council supported bulky waste collection services to include:

  • Widening scope of waste materials collected

  • Provision of or support for a competitive offering for commercial / trade waste

  • Public awareness campaign about costs to society of fly tipping and benefits of using licensed waste carriers and spotting & shopping fly tippers

  • Introduction of fast, low cost prosecution process via civil rather than criminal courts

From what I have seen the biggest factor that causes an increase in fly tipping is the fact that councils have begun to charge to taking green waste, for instance, to the tips, or charge for green waste collection which, until recently, were free.

Furthermore there is also an increase of household rubbish being tipped, in black bin liners more often than not, on public land, such as parks and open spaces, and this is largely due to changes in refuse collection and charging for them.

A much more common sense approach must be looked into for wasting fifty to a hundred million per year is too much money wasted on something that could, maybe, tackled in a much better way for little to no money.

© 2012