Businesses paid out £3 million in commercial fly-tipping fees in last 3 years

Business fly-tipping

A study from waste management company Envirovue, reveals the top local authorities where businesses paid out a total of just under £3 million to clear incidents of commercial fly-tipping between 2019 and 2022.

Every year fly-tipping costs the UK government up to £392 million. The criminal offence involves the dumping of commercial, industrial, and household waste, and poses a great risk to public health and the environment. 

Following a 300% increase in searches for the term ‘how to report fly-tipping’ in the past year, a new study from sustainable waste management experts, Envirovue, looks into the number of commercial fly-tipping fines handed out in the past three years and the cost to businesses. 

The findings are based on insight obtained by Envirovue through Freedom of Information requests (FOIs) sent to 424 UK councils, of which 117 councils responded. The top 3 councils that paid out the most fines in the past three years were the City of Westminster, London Borough of Islington, and Brighton and Hove.

The City of Westminster takes the top spot for costs after paying out £986,400 with 2,466 commercial fly-tipping fines being handed out to businesses within this period.

Top ten councils that paid out the most fines in the past three years.

From 2019 to 2022, the number of fines Westminster received increased by 674% (from 153 to 1,183 fines). The London Borough of Islington (1,416 fines) ranks second, with the boroughs of Southwark (926 fines), and Camden (787 fines) following closely behind, with these boroughs collectively paying out £640,080 to their local authorities.

Comparing 2019 to 2022, Camden saw the biggest increase in fly-tipping offences out of these boroughs, with the total number of fines surging from 318 to 420 (32%).

Director at Envirovue, Daniel Redfern, said: “It’s disappointing to see any area in the UK gaining weighty fines due to business illegally dumping their waste, but even more so when it’s a central location and public risk could be tenfold.

“We’d suggest if you work in trades where such waste is generated, make sure you’re aware of your responsibilities when it comes to disposing of waste safely and legally. Not only could illegal dumping result in hefty fines, but the reputation damage this could cause to companies could be even more detrimental.

“It’s important to say, too, that the majority of the time, companies do not intend to be non-compliant and law-breaking. Sometimes things just slip through the net. It will often mean that the business has engaged with a supplier that cuts corners, and Envirovue has systems to stop this.”

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