Incidents of fly-tipping on public land have increased by two percent across England in 2019/2020, according to new figures released by Defra.
However, according to Mark Bridgeman, the president of the Country Land and Business Association (CLA), this is just ‘the tip of the iceberg’ as it the figures do not take into account the vast number of fly-tiipping incidents which occur on private land, and result in farmers paying out thousands of pounds every year to clear the rubbish.
“Cases of fly-tipping on privately owned land are significantly more than on public land so these government figures do not reflect the true scale of this type of organised crime, which blights our rural communities,” said Mr Brideman.
He said that a key factor is that it is “too simple” to gain the waste carrying licence that enables firms to transport and dispose of waste, and that urgent reform is needed and correct checks put in place. “A revamped system would act as a deterrent,” he said.
For the 2019/20 year, local authorities in England dealt with just under 1 million (976,000) fly-tipping incidents, an increase of 2% from the 957,000 reported in 2018/19.
Just under two thirds (65%) of fly-tips involved household waste. Total incidents involving household waste were 632,000 in 2019/20, an increase of 7% from 588,000 in 2018/19.
Mr Bridgeman cited a CLA member who has been routinely targeted by fly-tippers, and has had to pay around £50,000 each year to clear the rubbish, which regularly includes tyres, fridges, tents, barbecues and building waste.
He added: “Although the maximum fine for anyone caught fly-tipping is £50,000 or 12 months imprisonment, if convicted in a Magistrates’ Court, this is seldom enforced. Unless tougher action is taken to combat this kind of rural crime, it will continue to increase.”