The Environmental Services Association (ESA) has said the “disappointing” rise of fly-tipping cases being dealt with by local authorities in England, following a decline in previous years, illustrates the impact of reductions in local authority resources.
ESA’s Economist Jacob Hayler, said: “Defra’s latest figures show a 20 percent increase in the number of fly tipping incidents dealt with by local authorities, leading to a 24 percent increase in costs to almost £60m.
“This is obviously disappointing, and illustrates the impact of reductions in local authority resources. It underlines the urgency of the industry’s call for more effort from the Environment Agency and local authorities to fight waste crime”
“This is obviously disappointing, and illustrates the impact of reductions in local authority resources. It underlines the urgency of the industry’s call for more effort from the Environment Agency and local authorities to fight waste crime.
“The Government provided the Agency with £5m this year to combat the most prominent waste criminals, but local authorities also need more resources to deal with an issue estimated to cost the UK economy £500m each year.
“Without more help, the Agency and local authorities are at risk of being swamped by the fly tippers, as well as by professional law breakers involved in waste crime.”
In response to the figure, the Local Government Association (LGA) has renewed its call for tougher fly-tipping powers.
Cllr Peter Box, the LGA’s Environment Spokesman, said: “The rise which these latest figures reveal, underlines the urgent need for councils to be given tougher powers to tackle this problem.
“The cost to taxpayers of enforcement actions has increased to over £17m a year and in many cases councils are unable to reclaim the full costs of prosecutions. Currently, councils can only take fly-tippers to court rather than issuing fixed penalties – when sometimes this is would be a more appropriate and cost effective response. These could be handed out for offences likes dumping items, such as pieces of broken furniture, old televisions and mattresses.
“This is why we are calling for the current system – which works against councils – to be reformed. We need a new streamlined system, which helps councils and hurts those doing the dumping, one that is nimble, flexible and effective.
“Chasing down the culprits and clearing up their mess costs taxpayers tens of millions of pounds every year. Not only does fly-tipping create an eyesore for residents, it is also a serious public health risk, creating pollution and attracting rats and other vermin.”