Recent research using freedom of information (FOI) requests to each of the UK’s local authorities appears to show that fly-tipping increased by 49% between 2020 and 2021.
Undertaken by outdoors brand TOG24, the research revealed that, in the past year, some London Borough’s dealt with over 20,000 incidents each. Other notable findings included:
- The London Borough of Newham is the UK’s fly-tipping hot-spot with nearly 30,000 recorded incidents in 2021
- Councils in the UK each had to deal with over 3,400 fly-tipping incidents in 2021 on average
- New Forest District Council saw an increase of 194% in fly-tipping incidents between 2020 and 2021.
- The Orkneys and Ashfield District Council both saw the biggest growth in the financial impact of dealing with fly-tipping, seeing costs increase by 161% and 133% between 2020 and 2021
As well as being unsightly, blighting the countryside and posing a health hazard to humans, farm animals and wildlife, fly-tipping also means considerable costs for local authorities and taxpayers. Based on the FOI data returned, the figures reveal that the average local authority paid out a whopping £247,434 in 2021 clearing up litter left by thoughtless fly-tippers. The London Borough of Newham has spent over £1 million in 2021 cleaning up rubbish dumped by the public. And with over 400 local authorities across the UK, this figure is estimated to run into hundreds of millions for the whole of 2021.
Some of the worst affected areas of the country include the New Forest which saw a 194% jump in fly-tipping incidents between 2020 and 2021. Lewes District Council/Eastbourne Borough Council saw a 181% increase, followed by Fareham (75%) and Blackpool (55%).
The Orkneys experienced a 161% increase in the cost of clearing up fly-tipping between 2020 and 2021, while Ashfield District Council saw a 133% increase in the same 12 months.
In 2021, councils had to deal with an average of 300 incidents of fly-tipping, over and above those reported by the public.
The first lockdowns in 2020 were notable for fly-tipping incidents, but there’s little evidence that things improved in 2021, say the report’s authors.
The FOI data shows that councils are continuing to deal with thousands of fly-tipping incidents per year (on average 3470 each).
1) London Borough of Newham – 28,297
2) London Borough of Lewisham – 27,324
3) London Borough of Hounslow – 24,363
4) London Borough of Haringey – 21,950
5) City of Edinburgh – 12,626
6) Nottingham City Council – 11,797
7) Manchester City Council – 10,937
8) Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea – 10,724
9) Southampton Council – 10,075
10) Bristol Council – 9,885
More information including the responses from each authority can be found on TOG24’s website here.