If you want to know how much of a problem the country has with fly tipping, just type ‘fly tipping’ into Google and click on the News tab. You’ll see daily reports from across the country of communities blighted by illegally dumped waste.
Councils reportedly face over 20,000 fly tipping incidents a week, with a national clean up bill of over £50m. Fly tipping also represents thousands of tons of waste that could and should have been routed into managed recycling streams. Why is it such a large and growing problem?
It’s worth saying that the vast majority of people seem to act responsibly. You only have to walk down a street in Taunton or Wellington on bin collection day to see that most of us are conscientious about carefully segregating our recyclables. At Wellington Waste we often get asked what happens to the waste we collect from homes and businesses.
Why Is It Getting Worse?
Fly tipping is a significant problem – even here in Somerset. There’s no doubt that lockdown made things worse as recycling centres closed or offered a restricted service. Less frequent household collections (often because of driver shortages) also don’t help.
Some fly tipping happens despite people acting in good faith. They contact what they believe to be an authorised waste handling company only to receive a nasty shock when illegally dumped waste is traced back to them.
There are unscrupulous individuals and criminals who will charge you to take away your waste and then avoid paying landfill or waste handling costs. These charges make up a significant proportion of the cost of hiring a skip. Some criminals even exploit loopholes in the licensing system to appear legitimate.
So, what can you do to ensure that you’re not part of the problem without realising?
The first thing is to check that the company offering to take away your waste is licensed – and that the details tie up with the waste handling register. Beware of low cost offers. There are a lot of unavoidable costs in this business – so cutting costs usually means cutting corners.
The most secure safeguard is to get in touch with an established and trusted waste handling firm with a good reputation and track record. You can then be confident that your waste will be dealt with responsibly and that you won’t get a fine because your waste turned up somewhere you didn’t expect.
In the meantime, if you see anyone fly tipping you can report it HERE.