Fly-Tipping Facts & Figures

Say No To Fly-Tipping


Any waste that has been left illegally on land that is not an appropriate tipping site is classed as fly-tipping. This can be anything from a single bag of rubbish to extensive demolition and construction waste. Fly-tipping is an anti-social behaviour and a criminal act which effects the local environment.

Fly-tipping also poses a health and safety threat to wildlife and people and causes huge harm to the environment all around us. Furthermore fly-tipping spoils the pleasure and enjoyment we get from our towns, cities and the countryside.

Fly-tipping occurs when people don’t want to pay a landfill tax or any other costs associated with disposing of waste that isn’t household waste. Household waste costs is included in council tax, but other waste isn’t.

Anyone caught fly-tipping can incur fines of up to £20,000 and/or 6 months in prison. If the case goes to Crown Court then the fines may be unlimited and sentences can reach up to 2 years in prison. For hazardous waste, you can be sentenced up to 5 years in prison. Anyone caught fly-tipping using a vehicle can also lose their vehicle or vehicles.

Anyone who hires a bogus unlicenced house clearance company or rubbish removal firm to remove and dispose of waste on their behalf, can be fined up to £5,000 and receive a prison sentence even, if fly-tipped waste can be traced back to the person.

Fully Licenced & Insured

Fly-tipping – the facts & figures of illegally dumped waste

  • Fly-tipping costs the public £72 per minute with cases f fly-tipping occuring on average every 12 seconds somewhere in the UK.
  • The estimated cost of clearing illegally dumped waste which was reported by local authorities in 2006-2007 was around £73,000,000.
  • In 2005-2006 clearing fly-tipping waste from agricultural land cost around £47,000,000.
  • Property and land prices suffer in areas which repeatedly being used for fly-tipping waste. This causes businesses to suffer too as people don’t want to shop where rubbish is constantly being dumped.
  • Fly-tipping is on the increase with figures up by 5% in 2006-2007 from the previous year. In England alone, local authorities stated that they had dealt with over 2.6 million cases of fly-tipping.
  • There is only a 1 in 1,460 of fly-tippers ever being successfully prosecuted. In 2006-2007 only 1,796 prosecutions of fly-tipping was successful.
  • About 56% of all fly-tipping happens in alleyways.
  • 63% of all fly-tipping is domestic rubbish dumped in black bin liners.
  • General household waste is involved in 77% of all fly-tipping cases which is an increase of 5.4% from 2005-2006.
  • 95% of farmers have had to clear up rubbish dumped on their land by other people.

Litter facts & figures

  • Taxpayers pay in excess of half a billion pounds each year to clear the streets in England. That does not include the clearing up of parks and other public spaces.
  • About 48% of the population has admitted to dropping later, that’s nearly half the country.
  • There has been a 500% increase in litter being dropped since the 1960s despite more awareness about litter dropping and campaigns such as Keep England Clean.
  • Members of parliament receive more letters and complaints from the public about litter and dog fouling than they do for anything else, even crime.
  • It is illegal to litter and if caught you can be fined up to £80 on the spot.
  • In July of 2007 a Mori poll found that the public were more concerned about graffiti and litter than they were about the changing climate.
  • 7 out of 10 items of litter are food related, Nationwide.
  • About 122 tonnes of cigarette butts and packets are dropped daily in the UK.
  • Every weekend on Highways Agency roads alone 1.3 million pieces of rubbish are dropped. Each year this adds up to a vast 67.2 million separate items of rubbish. About a 3rd of all drivers and passengers admitted to throwing litter from their vehicles while driving on the road.
  • Due to the vast amount of litter and rubbish on our streets rat population in the UK has boomed to about 60 million. This means here are almost as many rats as there are people. This figure is only going to increase.
  • Last year in Britain there were over 69,000 animals injured or killed by litter.
  • Litter such as plastics, plastic bags, tins and cigarette butts harm animals and sea life in many ways including water pollution. Animals and birds can also get tangled in plastic, get strangled by it and even swallow it and choke.
  • Every year it is estimated that over 100,000 sea mammals and turtles and over one million sea birds die through litter related causes.
  • In 2006 in the UK over 370,000 pieces of litter was found on beaches. This is the equivalent of 1,989 pieces of litter per every kilometer.
  • A 90% increase in litter and rubbish on our beaches since 2004 has been reported by the Marine Conservation Society.
  • By the government’s own standards and measures, in the UK the level of litter and rubbish has gone from being satisfactory to unsatisfactory in the last year.
  • In the most recent study on local environmental cleanliness reports have shown that a significant increase in road-side litter has moved into the unsatisfactory category for the firm since the survey has been conducted over 6 years ago.

Litter and rubbish makes an area look uncared for and dirty and can even cause more litter to be dumped in an area. Littered areas are less likely to be used by people as there are not pleasant to be in which can effect the area greatly, especially for local businesses. Whereas people will be less likely to litter in cleaner areas.

Litter is a lost resource. Paper, tins, cardboard, plastic and glass bottles and jars can all be recycled. By littering these items end up out of the recycling stream.

Biodegradability facts & figures

Any litter takes time to disappear naturally, so it best not to drop litter at all. The biodegradability of litter can depend on the climate and other circumstances of course but under unfavourable climate conditions the degradable time spans for litter are estimated at:

  • Banana skins and orange peel waste – up to 2 years
  • Cigarette but ends – up to 2 years
  • Plastic carrier bags – 10-20 years
  • Tin cans – 50 years
  • Aluminum tin cans – 80-100 years
  • Plastic bottles, tubs and jars – indefinitely
  • Glass – indefinitely

Most items can be reused or recycled in one form or another. It is everyone’s duty to keep litter and rubbish off the streets in order to make sure our cities, towns and indeed the world itself doesn’t become one big rubbish dump.

Reporting fly-tipping or littering

If you see anyone fly-tipping or dropping litter contact your local police or council authority. If fly-tipped waste or rubbish looks to be of a hazardous nature or in or near a watercourse, contact the Environment Agency Emergency Hotline on 0800 80 70 60.

You will need to provide as much information as possible to the person taking your call, such as:

  • The exact location of the waste and the type of land it has been dumped on.
  • A description of the person or people fly-tipping or littering.
  • The exact date and time the fly-tipping or littering was seen, including the time the offence began and ended.
  • Details of where you yourself were at the time.
  • Details of any other witness with you at the time, of any.
  • If possible a full description of any vehicle involved in the fly-tipping such as make, colour, any markings and the registration.
  • What kind or type of fly-tipped waste and estimated quantity of the waste.

Remember DO NOT under any circumstances put yourself in danger by confronting the fly-tipper/s or handling any of the waste.

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