Local authorities in England have dealt with 976,000 fly-tipping incidents on public land in 2019/20, an increase of two per cent from 2018/19, new figures from Defra have found.
The report highlighted 65 per cent of fly-tips involved household waste (632,000 incidents), an increase of 7 per cent from 588,000 in 2018/19.
It also found the most common place for fly-tipping to occur was on highways (pavements and roads), accounting for 43 per cent of total incidents in 2019/20.
But while CLA president Mark Bridgeman said the figures were alarming, he added they did not reflect the severity of the situation since they only accounted for waste illegally dumped on public land reported to these authorities.
“Cases of fly-tipping on privately owned land are significantly more than on public land so these Government figures do not reflect the true scale of this type of organised crime, which blights our rural communities,” Mr Bridgeman said.
“Part of the problem is that it is currently too simple to gain a waste carrying licence that enables firms to transport and dispose of waste – and this needs urgent reform with correct checks put in place.
“A revamped system would act as a deterrent.”
Mr Bridgeman added one CLA member, who has been regularly subjected to fly-tipping, has to pay £50,000 each year for rubbish, such as tyres, fridges, tents, barbecues and building waste, to be cleared.
“Local authorities need to start sharing the brunt of these costs, and taking more responsibility for waste dumped on people’s land,” Mr Bridgeman said.
“Although the maximum fine for anyone caught fly-tipping is £50,000 or 12 months imprisonment, if convicted in a Magistrates’ Court, this is seldom enforced.
“Unless tougher action is taken to combat this kind of rural crime, it will continue to increase.”
The CLA has introduced a five-point action plan to tackle fly-tipping which called on local authorities, the Environment Agency and police forces to commit to stronger action against the increase of fly-tipping on private land.
Speaking at the NFU 2021 Conference on Tuesday February 23, NFU president Minette Batters, said fly-tipping was the one thing that members spoke to her about most.