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Research reveals a fly-tipping incident occurs every 30 seconds in the UK

24 February 2020

A research team has collated governmental data to investigate flytipping across the UK, focusing on the fly-tipping hotspots, data on prosecutions, and how much local authorities are spending on cleaning up waste.

Expert Market interviewed a disgruntled London resident on the situation in their area and discovered how the community is taking matters into their own hands. 

The research found that:

  • A fly-tipping incident occurs every 30 seconds in England, costing councils £12.9million a year
  • Only 0.2% of cases of flytipping result in criminal prosecutions, the majority of punishments are fixed notice penalties (fines of up to £500)
  • Five of the most fly-tipped areas are in London (City of London, Camden, Hammersmith & Fulham, Hounslow and Brent)
  • The average amount a council makes from flytipping fines is £3,355, however, there are huge disparities between areas, with Birmingham bringing in £175,643
  • Recent research by the BBC found that criminal gangs are behind a large number of incidents
  • Large-scale flytipping has almost doubled over the past six years.

The research cross-references data from 323 local authorities, contrasting the number of fly-tipping incidents with the population, to show which areas have the most incidents per person. City of London was followed closely by Sheffield and Camden, with six London boroughs making into the top 10.

In 2019, local authorities in England dealt with over one million fly-tipping incidents (1,072,000) - which is around one every 30 seconds. The most common areas for fly-tipping are roads and pavements, though the dumping of waste in green areas is not uncommon, damaging the environment and wildlife.

Household waste occurs for almost two-thirds of fly-tipping incidents and is proving costly to local councils - in 2019, fly-tipping cost councils in England £12.9m. With one in five councils already facing drastic spending cuts, this makes for alarming reading.