£1M fund to help councils combat fly-tipping

In a bid to crack down on fly-tipping, Defra has awarded grants to 26 local authorities across England to target hotspots and better protect communities.

Fly-Tipped-WasteThe UK government has announced a £1 million funding boost to help 26 local authorities across England combat fly-tipping and protect communities from the impact of illegal waste dumping. The grants, announced by Recycling Minister Robbie Moore, will support various initiatives aimed at targeting fly-tipping hotspots and raising awareness among households about proper waste disposal methods.

The funding comes as part of the government's ongoing efforts to tackle the persistent problem of fly-tipping, which has seen a concerning upward trend over the past five years. According to recent government statistics, local authorities dealt with 1.08 million fly-tipping incidents in the year to March 2023, a slight decrease of 1 per cent from the previous year but still one of the highest figures on record.

The grants, ranging up to £50,000 per council, will be used to implement a variety of measures, such as installing CCTV cameras with automatic number plate readers (ANPR) in hotspot areas, deploying AI-assisted camera technology, and launching campaigns to educate residents about their duty to use only licensed waste companies for rubbish disposal.

Among the grant recipients are the London Borough of Hounslow, City of Wolverhampton Council, and Cheshire East Council. Hounslow plans to install CCTV cameras with ANPR and directly inform residents about correct waste disposal methods. Wolverhampton will introduce further CCTV, signage, and AI-enabled SMART cameras, sharing captured images via their 'Shop a Tipper' campaign to encourage residents to identify offenders. Cheshire East will provide handheld devices to street enforcement officers, enabling remote working and increasing the time officers can spend engaging with the community.

Councillor Guy Lambert, Cabinet Member for Highways, Recycling and Health Integration at Hounslow Council, said: "Fly-tipping on our streets and green spaces blights neighbourhoods, endangers wildlife, and impacts on people's pride of place, while also putting added strain on council services. This latest funding is welcomed and will support our dedicated enforcement team to better identify offenders through enhanced CCTV images."

Recycling Minister Robbie Moore emphasised the government's determination to catch offenders: "Fly-tipping is a brazen attack on communities, nature and our environment. It can create danger for wildlife as well as people and I am determined the harm done by cynical criminals doesn't go unpunished."

This latest round of funding builds on the almost £1.2 million already allocated since 2022 across 32 other local authorities as part of the fly-tipping intervention grant scheme. Previous funding has yielded significant results, with Hyndburn Borough Council reporting a 100 per cent decrease in fly-tipping in targeted areas and savings of approximately £4,150 in waste removal and clean-up costs over a three-month period.

The government has also taken steps to empower local authorities in their fight against fly-tipping, including increasing the maximum on-the-spot fines for fly-tipping to £1,000 and ensuring that money raised from these fines is ring fenced for enforcement and clean-up activities.

Despite these efforts, the National Farmers Union (NFU) has highlighted that the official figures do not accurately reflect the scale of fly-tipping on private land, which is estimated to impact two-thirds of farmers. The NFU has called for further action, including better promotion of household waste disposal responsibilities and accreditation for council enforcement officers to enhance their powers in tackling fly-tipping and littering.

The full list of local authorities receiving funding is as follows:

  • Basildon Borough Council
  • Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council
  • Boston Borough Council
  • Cheshire East Council
  • City of Wolverhampton Council
  • Cotswold District Council
  • East Riding of Yorkshire Council
  • Gateshead Council
  • London Borough of Brent Council
  • London Borough of Hounslow
  • London Borough of Merton
  • London Borough of Sutton
  • North Northamptonshire Council
  • North Tyneside Council
  • North Warwickshire Borough Council
  • North Yorkshire Council
  • Peterborough City Council
  • Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council
  • Rochdale Borough Council
  • Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council
  • Southend-On-Sea City Council
  • Stoke-On-Trent City Council
  • Sunderland City Council
  • Swale Borough Council
  • Wealden District Council
  • Wiltshire Council

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