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Flytipping up 6pc amid cuts in bulky waste collections

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Flytipping in England has increased for the second year running, costing local authorities an estimated £50m to clean up.

Latest Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs figures, reported by LGC’s sister title Materials Recycling World, show the total number of flytipping incidents was 900,000 in 2014-15, up from 852,000 the year before.

The number of flytipping incidents had been declining with the 1,285,000 incidents recorded in 2007-8 almost halving to 711,000 incidents in 2012-13, the last year a fall was reported.

The Defra report cautions that the increase may be due to both improvements in capturing fly-tipping incidents as well as a genuine surge in the number of incidents.

Household waste accounted for 68% of incidents reported this year and rose from 563,000 incidents in 2013-14 to 590,000 incidents in 2014-15. This year’s estimated clean-up costs to local authorities in England increased by 11%.

Some observers such as Keep Britain Tidy have argued that cuts to local authority budgets could contribute to an increase, with fewer councils offering free collection of bulky items for example.

Some 31% of incidents consisted of a quantity equivalent to ‘a small van load’ while 30% consisted of a ‘car boot or less’, and 15% equated in size to a ‘transit van’.

Commercial waste was the second largest waste type, after household waste, at nearly 9%. There was an 18% increase in commercial waste incidents from 65,000 in 2013-14 to 77,000 in 2014-15.

The report found that the most common place for flytipping was along highways, which accounted for 48% of incidents in 2014-15. There was an increase of 3% in tipping on footpaths, bridleways and back alleys, which accounted for almost 28% of incidents.

Nearly 515,000 enforcement notice actions were carried out this year, at an estimated cost of £17.6m, an increase of 3.1% on enforcement on the same period last year.

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