FLY TIPPING INCREASE
|Piers Pratt removes tyres dumped on his
As the Government tries to encourage
recycling by charging for landfill and dumping, incidences of fly
tipping are increasing. Inside Out investigates fly tipping, and the
cost of the big clean up.
A recent survey by the Country Landowners Association
(CLA) showed that in most councils surveyed, tipping had increased.
It also showed that in East Anglia, nearly 60% of farms
have experienced fly tipping, by far the worst area in the UK.
According to the Environment Agency, Norfolk has also
seen a 30% increase in reported incidences in the last year.
|"I’d love to catch them – I even carry
a camera – but you never see them."
The two most common causes cited for tipping are laziness
and cost. The most common materials to be tipped are garden waste, white
goods, DIY waste, tyres and furniture.
One reason is that commercial waste is subject to landfill
tax at £14 per tonne. Unscrupulous builders just dump it to avoid paying.
But surprisingly, Inside Out discovered that a large
amount of tipping was committed by people who simply can’t be bothered
to take their rubbish to the local tip.
Clear up cost
Even more surprisingly, if that rubbish is dumped on
private land it is the responsibility of the landowner to clear it up
– and pay for it.
|CLEAR UP COST
Removal of bags of bottles and cans, broken bicycles
and video players to commercial tip. Also landfill tax.
Cost = £54.54
Hire of licenced waste disposal company to collect
tyres. Piers not allowed to handle these himself as he is not licenced.
Cost = £352.50
Tyre recycling costs at £40 per tonne. It is illegal
to dump tyres in landfill, so Piers has no choice.
Cost = £240
TOTAL COST = £647.04
Piers Pratt farms near Downham Market in West Norfolk.
He is plagued by tippers.
When presenter Nick Lawrence went to meet him, he was faced with bags
of bottles and cans, garden waste, piles of old video recorders, garden
furniture and a large number of old tyres.
Piers says, "I find this incredible. The dump is just
a few miles away, yet people drive here. Rubbish is gregarious – if I
don’t pick it up it attracts more!"
Inside Out followed Piers' clean up operation, which
cost a staggering £647.04. The breakdown of this cost can be seen in the
Who should pay?
The Country Landowners and Business Association believe
that the government’s aim to make landowners protect their land is unreasonable.
They say it is totally impractical to install floodlights
and CCTV around the massive farms around the East.
Director Regional Paul Long says, "Why on earth should
Piers have to foot the bill for this?"
But Nick Johnson of the Environment Agency, says it is
not appropriate for the Agency to pay for the clean up on private land,
"We’ll investigate and try and catch them, but we can’t remove waste.
It’s a bit like the police – they’ll investigate if you have a burgarly
but they won’t bring you a new TV or video."
Public land tipping
|Much of the waste
dumped could be placed in a normal household bin
When waste is tipped on public land, it is the local
Council who must clean it up. Justin Ward’s job is to cover a 30 square
mile area around Kings Lynn for West Norfolk Borough Council.
The council has an average of 145 incidences a month
reported to them.
Justin says, "It is frustrating sometimes. The worst
I have seen was when I cleared up a load of waste and when I went back
an hour later, more had already been dumped there.
"I’d love to catch them – I even carry a camera – but
you never see them."
The Environment Agency also has a role in fly tipping.
Their role is regulator, so they are behind most prosecutions. In Norfolk,
they are embarking on a campaign involving the use of secret cameras.
In Luton, the council has already had a campaign which
has resulted in a staggering 125 successful prosecutions for littering
and fly tipping in 2003. Monthly environmental clean up days are held
where a small area of the town is blitzed and cleared of all fly tipping
and abandoned cars.
are cleared from Luton's streets
During November's clean up day, 30 abandoned cars and
25 loads of rubbish were cleared.
It’s already made a huge difference, according to David
Biles of the Arson Task Force, "We sweep the area street by street. The
main aim is to improve the environment for the residents."
The Environment Agency say they want the public to be
the solution, by reporting tipping.
Nick Johnson says, "We want people to shop the perpetrators
who are increasing everyone’s tax bills."
Anyone who has information on fly tippers or details
of an incidence can call the Environment Agency’s hotline on: