Having declined steadily over the last few years, fly-tipping – the illegal dumping of waste – is once again threatening to turn our green and pleasant land into one giant rubbish tip.
Both rural beauty spots and urban streets are being blighted by a growing band of litter louts, dumping anything from old furniture, carpets and other household waste. In just the last two years, there’s been a 27 per cent increase in incidents of fly-tipping – 900,000 cases in total.
The return of fly-tipping
So why are people choosing to fly-tip rather than looking for responsible ways to dispose of waste? Many believe that very people who are supposed to be responsible for disposing of our rubbish – our councils – are actually to blame for the huge surge in fly-tipping.
A number of factors are being linked to the growing incidence of fly-tipping:
- new local authority restrictions on household refuse, including the introduction of collections only every third week in some areas
- complicated recycling rules
- restrictions on the amount of waste council rubbish services will remove
- charges for one-off collections of items unsuitable for landfill
- the introduction of charges at local authority tips for the disposal of items such as DIY rubbish, glass, soil, rubble and plasterboard
- increasing costs associated with waste disposal at landfill sites
- increasing complexity associated with obtaining permits and licences to dispose of certain hazardous materials such as asbestos and plasterboard
- the closure of some household waste centres
Ironically, because most fly-tipping (76%) occurs on public land, such as roads, highways, footpaths, bridleways and back alleyways, the burden of clearing it up falls to the local councils, at a cost, in England alone, of around £50 million – a cost that’s inevitably passed on to the taxpayer.
Let’s skip to the solution
Householders and businesses may not realise it but it is their responsibility to get rid of their waste legally. Even if they pay someone to do the job for them they are responsible for where it ends up and could end up with a hefty fine if it get fly-tipped.
The simpler solution is to hire a skip. It’s simple and straightforward way to responsibly dispose of allsorts of waste, from DIY materials, green matter from gardening and landscaping projects. There are restrictions on what can go in a skip so also look at how to reuse, recycle, regenerate, reclaim or repair items you no longer want.