Business

Thirteen per cent of UK residents admit to fly-tipping

LGA calls for fly-tipping overhaulResearch commissioned by furniture retailer Furniture Choice has shown that one in eight UK residents admit to fly-tipping, with 28 per cent not knowing that they’re breaking the law.

The survey of over 1,000 members of the public also revealed the most common reason given by respondents for fly-tipping was the lack of awareness of where to take their waste.

As a result of the survey the company has developed an online tool to ‘help the public identify their local refuse centres and avoid hefty fines while being kinder to the environment’.

The tool, which can be continually updated, contains information on over 700 local council tips, charities and services where waste can be taken.

£50 million spent on clearing fly-tipped waste

Fly-tipping statistics released by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) in October 2015 showed a 20 per cent increase in fly-tipping in 2014/15, which equated to 900,000 individual incidents. Local authorities spent £50 million on clearing up the mess, 66 per cent of which was caused by household waste.

After having nowhere else to deposit the waste (38 per cent), the most common reason for illegally dumping rubbish was the lack of awareness that it was illegal (28 per cent).  This was followed by it being the easiest option (22 per cent), the high cost of disposal (16 per cent) and finally some people dumped waste just because they ‘could get away with it’ (11 per cent).

The survey also revealed that 82 per cent of residents were unaware the maximum fine had risen to £95,000 however the possibility of punishment would deter 82 per cent from tipping again. 

According to Defra statistics the vast majority of fly tipping prosecutions are successful with almost 98 per cent resulting in a conviction.

Tool will combat “the growing problem of illegal fly-tipping”

Launching the tool, Tom Obbard, Director at Furniture Choice, said: “Informing the public on the safest ways to dispose of unwanted items is the most effective way of combating the growing problem of illegal fly-tipping, which is why we created the recycling tool. Local authorities provide excellent recycling facilities so the online tool is designed to highlight this and, in turn, reduce the number of fly-tipping cases.

“It’s surprising that there’s been an increase in the number of people dumping waste illegally when the fine for doing so has dramatically increased. We hope that people will now make use of the recycling tool instead of succumbing to illegal dumping.”

 The Furniture Choice online tool can be found at the company’s website.