1.08 million fly-tipping incidents reported in the 2022/23 year



According to statistics released by the Government for the 2022/23 year, local authorities in England handled 1.08 million fly-tipping incidents, a decrease of 1% from 1.09 million in 2021/22.

The statistics, released by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), show that 60% of fly-tipping incidents involved household waste. There were 653,000 total incidents reported involving household waste in 2022/23, a decrease of 3% from 671,000 incidents in 2021/22.

The most common place for fly-tipping to occur was on highways (pavements and roads), which accounted for 40% of total incidents in 2022/23. The statistics show the number of highway incidents was 433,000, a decrease of 7% from 464,000 in 2021/22.

The most common size category for fly-tipping incidents in 2022/23 was equivalent to a “small van load” (31% of total incidents), followed by the equivalent of a “car boot or less” (27%).

In 2022/23, 42,000, around 4% of total incidents, were of “tipper lorry load” size or larger, which is an increase of 13% from 37,000 in 2021/22. Large fly-tipping incidents of “tipper lorry load” cost local authorities in England £13.2 million to clear in 2022/23, compared with £10.7 million in 2021/22.

Local authorities carried out 536,000 enforcement actions in 2022/23, an increase of 29,000 actions (6%) from 507,000 in 2021/22.

Fly-tipping slows our journey to a circular economy and inflicts a cost on both the taxpayer and the environment.

Investigations were the most common enforcement action taken against fly-tipping incidents, accounting for 65% of all actions in 2022/23, with 348,000 investigations in total. The statistics show an increase of 12% from 2021/22, where 311,000 investigations were carried out.

The second most common action after investigations was fixed penalty notices (FPNs) which accounted for 14% of all actions in 2022/23. The number of FPNs issued was 73,000 in 2022/23, a decrease of 19% from 91,000 in 2021/22.

The average court fine increased from £466 in 2021/22 to £526 in 2022/23. The total number of court fines decreased by 17% from 1,798 in 2021/22 to 1,491 in 2022/23, with the combined value of these fines decreasing by 6% from £837,000 to £785,000.

The most common place for fly-tipping to occur was on pavements or roads.

Last year (2023), Rishi Sunak promised to increase the upper limit on fines for fly-tipping from £400 to £1,000 as part of the Government’s plan to tackle “anti-social behaviour”.

Commenting on the statistics, Diane Crowe, Group Head of Sustainability at leading international circular economy specialist Reconomy, said: “The prevalence of fly-tipping demonstrates the improvements that can be made in our nation’s waste management both in terms of encouraging better habits and developing the infrastructure that can accommodate greater recycling.

“Ultimately, fly-tipping slows our journey to a circular economy and inflicts a cost on both the taxpayer and the environment. Working collaboratively we can progress towards eliminating this crime and developing a more sustainable waste management culture in this country.”

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