Wales consults on draft fly-tipping strategy

The Welsh Government has launched a consultation calling on stakeholders to submit their thoughts on the country’s new fly-tipping strategy.

The draft strategy, ‘A Fly-tipping Free Wales’, follows on from a November 2012 consultation, which asked stakeholders to suggest ways in which four key ‘high-level outcomes’ could be brought about. These were:

  • ensuring that all key organisations in Wales to commit to eliminating fly tipping;
  • making it ‘widely understood’ that fly tipping is socially unacceptable;
  • making it easier for people to deal with their waste effectively; and
  • ensuring that anyone who fly-tips is caught and ‘punished appropriately’.

The feedback to this consultation has reportedly helped shape this draft strategy, which outlines how the Welsh Government will work in partnership with organisations including Natural Resources Wales, the police, fire service, housing associations and local authorities to reduce incidences of fly-tipping.

Draft strategy details

According to the Welsh Government, during 2012/13, there were over 34,000 reported incidents of fly-tipping, which cost the Welsh taxpayer £1.9 million to clear up. These incidents varied in size from a bin bag of rubbish to large lorry loads of construction and demolition waste.

To help tackle this, the strategy outlines a range of actions that ‘all key organisations in Wales’ can undertake. These include:

  • considering the possibility of making the investigation of fly-tipping incidents a statutory duty;
  • investigating the introduction of a Fixed Penalty Notice or other enforcement tools for fly-tipping incidents (including fines of up to £50,000 and prison sentences);
  • trialling a working agreement between Natural Resources Wales, local authorities and private landowners (such as by outlining roles and responsibilities in relation to fly-tipping duties and outline best practice for dealing with incidents);
  • working with Waste Awareness Wales and WRAP Cymru to change the perceptions of waste with the view to it being considered a resource;
  • undertaking research to determine if there is a relationship between waste policies and fly-tipping;
  • promoting engagement with fly-tippers to understand why people fly-tip and what would make them stop;
  • working with partners to investigate the benefit of establishing or supporting the production of a trade waste directory for Wales;
  • seeking to develop a standardised national training package for enforcement officers (and seeing if this can be accredited to a recognised standard);
  • facilitating the production of a best practice guide for dealing with fly-tipping on public and private land;
  • working to further develop Flymapper, the system used to record fly-tipping incidents in Wales;
  • creating a baseline data set for the number, type and location of fly-tipping incidents in Wales; and
  • working closely with the third sector and 'making greater use of their close ties with the community and the work they are doing in waste provision, reusing, recycling and the collection of specific materials'.

The consultation asks stakeholders to outline whether they think this strategy will ‘help tackle fly-tipping Wales’, whether they agree with the proposed actions listed in the strategy, whether they have any further actions that they think should be included, and whether they would like to be involved in the working groups to ‘help deliver the actions needed to achieve the outcomes’.

Responses to the consultation can be made via email, online or by post and must be submitted by 29 August 2014.

‘Making it easier to deal with waste responsibly’

Speaking of the draft strategy, Minister for Natural Resources Alun Davies said: “Fly-tipping is a crime that spoils our neighbourhoods and has a big impact on our local communities. It also poses a threat to people and wildlife as it spreads disease, pollutes the environment, contaminates soil and can make areas more liable to flooding. This is completely unacceptable.

“Currently in Wales an average of four incidents of fly-tipping take place every hour of every day. The cost of clearing up this waste is staggering and this is money that could be better spent elsewhere to help improve the lives of people in Wales.

“We will do all we can to discourage and prevent fly-tipping across Wales and ensure that when people do fly-tip, they are caught and punished appropriately.”

The draft strategy outlines that most actions will be delivered by 2016, and progress will be reported annually.

Emyr Roberts, from Natural Resources Wales commented: “Fly-tipping affects us all – it spoils our countryside, damages our wildlife and can make areas less attractive for investment.

“It may be the actions of a few reckless individuals, but we all have a role to play in reducing this blight on our neighbourhoods.

“Everyone can do their bit by making sure they only use registered waste carriers and reporting incidents of fly-tipping to their local authority.”

Read ‘A Fly-tipping Free Wales’ strategy.