known as fly-tipping, were outlined by local environmental quality
minister Alun Michael today.
of England's streets, Mr Michael gave details of two consultation
exercises, starting today, which will inform the government's action
on tackling fly-tipping. He invited everyone with an interest to
contribute their views.
Mr Michael commented:
'Fly-tipping activity ranges from individuals who irresponsibly
dispose of their domestic rubbish through lack of awareness, to
organised large scale criminal activity. In the worst incidents it is
not only an eyesore and an inconvenience but can pose a threat to
'The Environment Agency estimates that there are around 50,000
fly-tipping incidents a year, costing individuals and public bodies
up to£150m to clear.
'It is important to ensure that the enforcement bodies have a range
of tools available to tackle the full range of fly-tipping problems.
The government is committed to addressing this unsightly, costly, and
potentially dangerous activity. By doing so we can bring about a
significant improvement in the quality of our public space and the
quality of peoples lives.'
The first consultation seeks to develop effective joint working
between the various agencies with an interest in fly-tipping
prevention. Statutory directions will enhance the clarity of the
roles of local authorities, dealing with small scale local incidents,
and the Environment Agency, who would focus on larger scale tipping
of non-hazardous waste, certain hazardous wastes, and the involvement
of organised crime. The agency would also have a role in providing
strategic support and advice for local authorities.
The second consultation, the Fly-Tipping Strategy, focuses on changes
to existing legislation to make it more useab le and effective, and
further measures that would be implemented through secondary
legislation or voluntary action.
The government's objectives are to:
* Ensure better prevention, investigation, and enforcement of
* Make existing legislation more usable and effective
* Extend the range of powers available, to increase flexibility when
dealing with fly-tipping
* Ensure the Environment Agency and local authorities can do their
job as effectively as possible, and
* Ensure that waste producers take responsibility for having their
waste legally managed
A range of measures to deal with fly-tipping is already in place.
Under the terms of the Anti Social Behaviour Act 2003 local
authorities will be able to stop, search and if necessary seize
vehicles suspected of being used for fly-tipping. They will also have
the power to investigate incidents, to help track down and prosecute
The Act has also led to joint working between Defra, the Environment
Agency and local authorities to develop a database, named Flycapture,
which will collate data, provide a source of national statistics, and
be used to assess the effectiveness of national and local policies.
Proposals in the Strategy to complement these powers include:
* Fixed penalty notices for failure to show a valid waste transfer
note or waste carrier registration
* Higher fines of£50,000 for repeat offences convicted in a
* More robust powers under the Environmental Protection Act for
clearing waste from land. This is designed to enable the authorities
to deal with problems including absentee landlords operating illegal
waste sites, but does not remove the defence for landowners and
occupiers who haven't knowingly caused or permitted fly-tipping to
* Addressing problems associated with construction, demolition, and
* The development of research into the causes o f fly-tipping, which
will result in production of a comprehensive good practice guide for
local authorities on pro-active ways of preventing fly-tipping
Both consultations will run until 14 May 2004 and will be
available at www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/consult/current.htm or by
contacting Defra Publications, Admail 6000, London SW1A 2XX, tel:
1. Environment minister Elliot Morley has departmental responsibility
within Defra for fly-tipping policy, as a waste management issue.
Alun Michael launched today's consultations in his role as minister
for local environmental quality.
2. Proposals to tackle fly-tipping were included in the consultation
document, Living Places: Powers, Rights, Responsibilities, which was
published in 2002.
3. Some of these measures were taken forward in the Anti-Social
Behaviour Act 2003, which focused on improving the toolkit of powers
available to local authorities to tackle fly-tipping.
More information about Flycapture, the National Fly-Tipping Data
Project, will be available on the Environment Agency's website at: