Council dealing with 13 fly-tipping incidents A DAY

Tons of fly-tipped rubbish was dumped in Northumberland last year as figures show council staff dealt with an average of 13 incidents a day.

By Patrick Jack
Monday, 27th December 2021, 10:10 am
The council is dealing with 13 fly-tipping incidents a day.
The council is dealing with 13 fly-tipping incidents a day.

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs data shows 5,036 fly-tipping incidents were reported to Northumberland County Council in 2020-21 – down slightly from the 5,041 reports made the year before.

The figures show the council carried out 1,009 enforcement actions, including 60 fixed penalty notices.

Household waste accounted for 3,517 (70%) incidents last year, while 93 separate incidents were classed as large enough to fill a tipper lorry.

These cost the council £24,645 to clear up.

Cllr John Riddle, the council’s cabinet member for local services said: "Fly-tipping is a serious environmental crime and the council has a zero tolerance approach to it.

"Our environmental enforcement officers investigate all fly-tipping incidents and if the offender can be identified then we will always take enforcement action against them, usually by issuing a fixed penalty fine or seeking their prosecution through the courts.”

He added: “We are committed to targeting those responsible and to continue offering a range of options to enable people to responsibly dispose of their waste.

"Among the initiatives in the last year have been multi agency weeks of action – door knocking, leaflet dropping and speaking to residents in hot spot areas. “During weeks council teams have worked with our partners to tackle this along with a wider range of crime, disorder and antisocial behaviour.

"We encourage everyone to play their part in keeping the county clean and green.”

Nationally, a record 1.1 million incidents of rubbish being illegally dumped were recorded in 2020-21 – up from 980,000 the previous year.

Sarah Lee, director of policy and campaigns at the Countryside Alliance, said: “From quiet rural lanes and farmers’ fields to bustling town centres and residential areas, fly-tipping continues to cause misery across the country.

“Lockdown and the subsequent closure of tips only exacerbated this situation and we would urge local authorities to think very carefully about preventing access to these facilities in future.”

The government said the first national coronavirus lockdown impacted many local authorities’ recycling programmes, and that changes to household purchasing may also have driven the increased fly-tipping.