The Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs ("DEFRA") recently published some interesting statistics for fly-tipping in England between April 2014 and March 2015.
The scale of the problem is frankly enormous. Local Authorities dealt with 900,000 incidents, up 5.6% on the previous year. Whilst more is being done to capture these incidents, which may reflect the increased figures, including an added spend of £300,000 on the overall cost of enforcement, it is still an alarming amount. DEFRA confirmed that 48% of fly-tipping took place on the highway. Nearly one third of the total number of incidents reported equated to the equivalent bulk of a small van load, so that is about 300,000 transit van loads of waste dumped illegally each year.
Overall Local Authorities spent £17.6 million on enforcement, bringing 515,000 enforcement actions. Household waste accounted for 66% of incidents, whereas commercial waste accounted for 9% of incidents, but worryingly this was 18% up on the previous year. White goods accounted for 34,000 incidents, up from 13,000 the year before.
Local Authorities issued 75,000 warning letters; conducted 45,000 duty of care inspections; 1,810 prosecutions of which 98% resulted in conviction including 21 cases where custodial sentences were imposed.
What is clear is that Local Authorities are taking enforcement ever more seriously, there is correlation between the increased figures and the increase in enforcement; so fly-tippers beware.