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Date: 15 March 2015
Today's Topic: Fly tipping is on the increase and it's time to deal with it
Triggers: BBC News Report
My Grump: People think it is a victimless crime when the reality is we all pay
Fly-tipping statistics for England, 2013/14, shoe incidents of illegally dumped waste increased by 20% on public land last year.
Local Authorities dealt with some 852,000 fly-tipping incidents at a clean-up cost to the public purse of £45.2m in 2013/14. Nearly two-thirds of fly-tips involved household waste.
Fly-tipping is the illegal deposit of waste on land contrary to the Environmental Protection Act 1990. Some local authorities have introduced new technologies; such as on-line reporting and electronic applications, as well as increased training for staff, and have explained this as a factor in the increase in the number of incidents reported.
However, I reckon it's much more likely to do with the fact that many local authorities now charge for dumping certain items. Joe public either can't read, or tell which is charged or not, and so dump everything by the roadside. 47 per cent of total fly tipping incidents occur on the highways of Britain.
Local Authorities carried out nearly 500 thousand enforcement actions at an estimated cost of £17.3 million, which was over a £2.0 million increase on the previous year. This equated to an increase of 18 per cent on enforcement actions in the same period.
This is the bit I don't understand. Last year local authorities issued over 65 thousand warning letters and 45 thousand statutory notices. Local Authorities carried out 2,000 prosecutions against waste offenders in England in 2013/14. Almost 98 per cent of fly-tipping incidents in England in 2013/14 resulted in a conviction. The vast majority (84 per cent) resulted in a fine. Other outcomes included conditional discharge, community service and 10 instances of custodial sentences.
If 98% of cases caught and convicted were collectively fined the actual cost of clearing up the mess, not just the bit they dumped, the rest of us wouldn't have to pick up the tab for all the others who get away with it.
It's time to come down hard on these ass-holes, who destroy the landscape, turn our countryside into a junkyard and endanger wildlife; not to mention the pain and suffering caused to cattle, sheep and horses that get caught up in the rubbish, especially sharp metal objects and small items easily swallowed.
Household waste can include material from house or shed clearances, old furniture, carpets and the waste from small scale DIY works. 66 per cent of fly-tips in England in 2013/14 were household waste. This was nearly 563 thousand incidents, one for every 39 households in England.
Other commercial waste can include pallets, cardboard boxes, plastics, foam, and any other waste not contained in bags or containers and not due to be collected. Almost 8 per cent of incidents in England in 2013/14 were of commercial waste. There was a 62 per cent increase in commercial waste incidents from 40 thousand in 2012/13 to 65 thousand in 2013/14.
Almost 6 per cent of fly tipping incidents (50 thousand) were of construction, demolition and excavation waste, up by almost 20 per cent from 42 thousand in 2012/13. Incidents of white goods significantly increased from 13 thousand incidents in 2012/13 to 34 thousand incidents in 2013/14, an increase of 152 per cent.
I blame a lot of it on cheap crappy goods, which means your TV, your washing machine and your fridge all pack up within a couple of years, usually just as the guarantee runs out, so you have to buy a new one. This creates enormous amounts of waste that is unnecessary.
Next, you turn up at your recycling site, only to be told 'you can't leave that here mate'. Okay, so what am I supposed to do with it? Take it home and hope it rots down to nothing? That could take several generations. Or leave it for somebody else to clear up? Which is, of course, illegal.
The easiest and simplest way to deal with waste is to sort it at the source, whatever it is. Not make is so difficult to take something to the council tip that you tempt people to dump instead. One in 39 households? This is a big problem.
I read once of a small garage who took some empty plastic oil cans to a recycling centre, only to be told they couldn't leave them because they were contaminated with oil. Of course they were, they were oil containers. But plastic is MADE from oil, so what is the problem? And what was this garage supposed to do with them? Bury them in the ground somewhere?
What is this nonsense about landfill sites becoming full? Either find a deeper hole, or pile it up higher.
Charging doesn't work. People will drop their rubbish off in some back alley, or the side of road somewhere, rather than pay to dump it. Besides we already pay in our council tax. Get the people that work in the recycle sites to actually get off their asses and recycle stuff.
Junk and rubbish is much easier and cheaper to deal with in a central location, than it is picking it up from every field, layby, back alley, country lane and council park. Every trip to collect somebody's fly tipped waste costs the taxpayer a lot of money. Much more than sorting it into piles at the recycle centre. So just take what comes in and deal with it.
The only way fly tipping will stop is if you give stupid and harsh punishments to the people caught doing it. Set up temporary CCTV at fly tipping black spots. You only need a registration number. Look through the rubbish to find credit card receipts, letters with addresses on, fingerprints on metal items, and add the cost of the investigation to the punishment. We've got to stop wrapping their knuckles and make them accept the true cost of what they are doing.
Please share your thoughts below, thank you.