Farming News - Fly tipping misery continues as Defra figures show 7% rise in incidents
Fly tipping misery continues as Defra figures show 7% rise in incidents
Defra figures have revealed that more than one million incidents of fly-tipping were dealt with by councils in England in 2016-17which has cost taxpayers £58m to clear up.This amounted to a 7% rise in incidents – the fourth year in a row that incidents increased. With January upon us, councils are likely to see a surge in flytipping as irresponsible residents and traders dump post festive waste.
William Nicholl, head of insurance specialist Lycetts’ rural division, warns that the latest figures are not a true reflection of the cost of flytipping across England as the figures only account for incidents on council land and not for clear-up costs incurred by private land owners, with farms often targeted.
Lycetts point out that farmers are not only having to fork out for clean-up costs with the average cost of £1000 per incident, but are having to worry about the damage it can cause to workers and their animals.
Mr Nicholl went on to say” “Farmers are well aware of this issue and are saddened by the visual impact it has on the countryside, as well as it being a nuisance and inconvenience when trying to get on with their jobs. “With many authorities looking at introducing charges for bulky waste and organic waste collections and charging for dumping waste at council-run tips, there is a fear that flytipping incidents on farmland will increase,"
He added, stressing the importance of having sufficient protection for farming businesses, particularly in the case of repeat offences. “If farmers are unfortunate enough to have a flytipping ‘hotspot’ on their land, costs soon tot up and their business could be put in jeopardy," he said. “Farmers are not only having to fork out for clean-up costs but are having to worry about the damage it can cause to workers and their animals. Flytipping can affect every part of their livelihood."
“However, I don’t think that farmers are as aware that, should they fail to deal with incidences of flytipping on their land and it leads to environmental damage, they could be held liable under the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
“With many authorities looking at introducing charges for bulky waste and organic waste collections and charging for dumping waste at council-run tips, there is a fear that flytipping incidents on farmland will increase.”
The growing scourge of fly tipping in rural areas and how best to tackle it was the subject of a Parliamentary debate last November with Anne Marie Morris MP stating “but they ( farmers) are not the polluters” and asked if the government would make sure “ that the polluter pays” and “ that waste can be tracked”.
She went on to say “I believe that 0.1% of fly-tippers are prosecuted, and the average penalty is a £400 fine. There is absolutely no disincentive, so why would they stop fly-tipping? That has to change…. the penalties, even if they are imposed, are woefully low”
The Country Land and Business Association wants a national fly-tipping tsar to be appointed to co-ordinate efforts to beat the menace. They introduced a 5 point plan last year - https://farming.co.uk/news/time-to-get-tough-on-fly-tipping