What is fly-tipping?
Fly-tipping is the illegal dumping of waste and it’s a massive nuisance. It was bad enough in the pre-90s era when recycling wasn’t really around, and now that the UK’s striving toward a zero waste economy it’s even more irritating. People do it because they’re too lazy to visit a waste and recycling plant or because they see an opportunity and decide that plopping rubbish behind a bush would be easier than sorting through it. Either way, it simply isn’t acceptable.
Why is fly-tipping a problem?
- This waste could contain anything, from sharp and rusted objects to battery acid, flammable materials and electrical goods that will poison the environment.
- It can pose a serious threat to local wildlife as a result of coming into contact with and possibly ingesting hazardous materials.
- The local surroundings will look ugly, damaging their social and aesthetic standing.
- The subsequent removal of these materials by the council could lead to an increase in the tax you pay!
- Any materials that are undiscovered will never be recycled or properly disposed of.
- In 2012-13, local authorities dealt with over 711,000 incidents of fly-tipping, with nearly 45% of occurrences taking place on highways. In total, cleanup costs local authorities an estimated £36.4 million a year.
What should you do if you see someone fly-tipping?
We recommend that you don’t intervene personally, as this could result in an aggravated situation depending on the individual. Instead, make a note of the time and location, what the individual looks like and their registration number if possible. Again, only do this if it poses no danger to you. Even if you have minimal details, or find materials that have already been deposited, you can still report fly-tipping at www.gov.uk/report-flytipping and the authorities can take it from there. They may even be able to track the culprit’s prior movements through use of CCTV.
And most importantly of all…
If you ever feel the urge to fly-tip, remember that it’s an offence that carries a maximum penalty of up to £50,000, or for very serious offences, a fine of up to five years in prison, or both! Just drive a little bit further to the waste and recycling plant, yeah?