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New action plan to tackle fly-tipping launches

31 October 2016

Environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy (KBT) has called for stronger penalties to tackle fly-tipping.

It has launched an action plan, Reaching the Tipping Point, in response to data for 2014-15 showing that local authorities recorded 900,000 incidents of fly-tipping and spent around £50m clearing rubbish from public land.

Some 70% of local authorities say fly-tipping is a major problem, according to a poll commissioned by Keep Britain Tidy. It comes as a separate Ipsos MORI survey shows that over a third of people (36%) said they thought it was OK to do things legally defined as fly-tipping.

The growing cost of clearing up unsightly fly-tipped rubbish is putting pressure on local authorities that are already struggling with funding problems.

53% of local authorities who said fly-tipping was a major problem think that changes – including the increase of bulky waste charges and closing recycling centres – have contributed to the problem.

Keep Britain Tidy chief executive Allison Ogden-Newton said increases in waste disposal charges and closing recycling centres had contributed to an increase in fly-tipping. "We know that local authorities are at their wits' end trying to tackle the growing crisis of dumped rubbish," she said.

"There is a real challenge here to educate the public that not only is it not OK to fly-tip, it is illegal and can result in a substantial fine for householders and a criminal record."

To deliver its action plan, Keep Britain Tidy wants councils and waste contractors to team up with its experts to tackle fly-tipping at local level where communities are being hit.

Keep Britain Tidy is also calling on the Government to direct revenue generated through the landfill tax to local authorities to support a free collection and recycling service. It says this would enable local authorities to remove charges that might be contributing to increases in fly-tipping.

Currently, the maximum fine for fly-tipping in the magistrates' court is £50,000 or 12 months in prison but 95% of the fines issued are less than £1,000.

Keep Britain Tidy says there should be a review of and report on the application of the sentencing guidelines when it comes to the fly-tipping fines handed out by magistrates.

Ms Ogden-Newton said: "We believe that much can be done to support those agencies in the front-lines acting on fly-tipping. This is a growing problem but our action plan, if adopted by Government and law enforcement agencies at all levels, will make a real difference."

 
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