Fly-tipped waste discovered FIFTY-SEVEN times a day, on average, in Northampton

More than 20,600 incidents reported in a year - up 5,400 from previous year

Tuesday, 2nd March 2021, 9:41 am
Updated Tuesday, 2nd March 2021, 9:44 am
Library picture / Press Association

Fly-tipped waste is discovered in Northampton 57 times a day on average, figures reveal.

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs data shows 20,648 fly-tipping incidents were reported to Northampton Borough Council in 2019-20 – 5,402 more than the previous year.

The Local Government Association warned that the offence costs taxpayers almost £50 million a year to clear up.

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Dumped waste was found on Northampton's footpaths and bridleways 3,221 times accounting for 16% of incidents while and 1,561 on roads and pavements (8)%.

Fly-tipped rubbish can include household waste, white goods and construction waste.

Environmental Charity Keep Britain Tidy says the crime is being driven by conmen who offer to remove household rubbish for a fee but do not dispose of it correctly.

Across England, the most common amount of rubbish dumped and reported to councils is equivalent to a small van load.

Rubbish loads of this size accounted for 34% of all 976,000 fly-tipping incidents nationally last year.

Across Northampton, small van loads of waste were dumped illegally on 8,760 occasions – 42% of all reports.

A further 111 incidents saw fly-tippers discard enough rubbish to fill a tipper lorry each, costing the council £15,278 to clear.

There were also six incidents which required multiple loads to clear, at a cost of £22,009.

Northampton Borough Council's cabinet member for environment Mike Hallam said: “Fly-tipping has been a major concern in Northampton for the past few years.

"Our contractors and neighbourhood wardens work very hard to tackle fly-tipping reports across the town and we are grateful to residents who report these incidents to us via our app, on our website or by email and phone, so we can target our resources.

“We take all reports very seriously, every fly-tip is searched before clearing and where evidence allows, a fixed penalty notice of £400 issued.

"In some cases, offenders will be prosecuted and this can result in an unlimited fine or up to six months imprisonment.

“We urge anyone who cares about the state of our town to keep an eye open for this kind of activity and provide us with evidence or witness statements which are often the only proof we have.”

David Renard, environment spokesman for the Local Government Association, said: “Fly-tipping is inexcusable.

"It is not only an eyesore for residents, but a serious public health risk, creating pollution and attracting rats and other vermin.

“We continue to urge the Government to review sentencing guidelines for fly-tipping, so that offenders are given bigger fines for more serious offences to act as a deterrent."

He added that manufacturers should provide more take-back services so customers can hand in old goods when they buy new ones.

Northampton Borough Council took action over 5,952 fly-tipping offences in 2019-20.

The authority undertook 993 investigations, wrote 101 warning letters and issued 272 fixed penalty notices.

It also prosecuted one incident in court, at a cost of £1,480. Such action resulted in one fine, totalling £1,480, being handed to an offender.

Allison Ogden-Newton OBE, chief executive of Keep Britain Tidy, said: “This environmental crime is being driven by ‘man with a van’ operators who are conning the public with what appears to be a cheap way of getting rid of their rubbish, but one that leads to illegal disposal and environmental devastation.

“Tragically, some businesses that hold a waste carrier licence are breaking the law and fly-tipping the rubbish that households pay them to remove.

“This must stop. We believe the only way to prevent further law-breaking is to fundamentally reform the system.

"We need tests and hurdles to ensure waste carriers are legitimate and accountable.

"Licences should be difficult to get, thoroughly checked and essential to carry out door-to-door waste collection."