Responsibility falls on homeowners to cut flytipping “at its very source”
- Credit: Archant
Councils have seen a huge rise in large-scale fly tipping over the last decade as organised gangs try to make 'a quick buck' from illegal waste clearing services.
In all but two Norfolk district authorities - Great Yarmouth and South Norfolk - major fly-tipping incidents, which are defined as being more than a lorry load of rubbish dumped, have increased since 2011.
Breckland district authority saw the biggest rise at an increase of 40 major fly-tipping incidents across the eight-year period, followed by Norwich at 39, North Norfolk at 27, King's Lynn at nine and Broadland at two.
According to Mark Whitmore, chairman of the Norfolk Waste Enforcement Group, the real key to change is "making sure the individual knows where their waste is going".
He said: "#SCRAPflytipping, a Norfolk-wide campaign, is really about making sure people deal with legitimate disposal companies, and start being a bit more suspicious if somebody wants to take their waste away for a price that seems too good to be true.
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"Homeowners need to recognise the consequences and liability if they do give rubbish to people who fly-tip. They could well be prosecuted.
"It's on them to refuse unsolicited requests from people knocking at their door asking to take your rubbish away, because you can be almost certain that they're just trying to make a quick buck and that it'll be dumped on a field somewhere.
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"We have to cut this off at its very source."
However, even for Great Yarmouth, the local authority which Mr Whitmore described as being "very on the ball", annual fly-tipping clearance costs there reach £75,000 a year.
Despite the fact that the borough council has a 'Report IT' app which allows residents to quickly report offenders caught fly-tipping, there was still three major fly-tipping incidents in the area across 2018-19.
And the year before, there were 89 fly-tipping incidents in Great Yarmouth which actually required a tipper lorry to help move dumped rubbish.
Penny Chapman, chairman of the environment committee at Great Yarmouth Council said: "The council has a zero-tolerance approach to tackling fly-tipping of all sizes and has carried out 146 enforcement actions, which includes 34 prosecutions, over the past two years alone.
"Our Environmental Rangers actively investigate incidents and continue to appeal to the public to assist with helping to identify and prosecute offenders. The council takes robust enforcement action against fly tippers and as committee chairman I am fully supportive."
The story in Waveney is a similar one - major fly-tipping across the borough has been on the rise since 2015, increasing 14% between then and 2019.
Between 2018-2019, a tipper lorry was required to move fly-tipped waste on 22 occasions, while the total number of incidents - both minor and major - was in excess of 1,300.
A spokesperson for East Suffolk Council said: "Fly-tipping is unpleasant, unnecessary, unsightly and a real concern - as removing waste is costly to the taxpayer.
"We urge residents who witness possible fly-tipping to report any information about fly-tipping to the council's customer service team."