Fly-tipping problem greater than Defra suggests

According to the Country Land and Business Association (CLA), recent Government figures on incidents of fly-tipping on public land do not reflect the true scale of the crime, as they do not take incidents on privately owned land into account.

Figures from the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) show that incidents of fly-tipping on public land have increased by 8 per cent across England in 2018/19.

However, the CLA, which represents around 30,000 rural businesses, farmers and landowners in England and Wales said that the figures do not represent the true scale of the crime.

The body also argues that the figures do not show the huge emotional and financial cost of fly-tipping, which costs £1,000 on average to clear up. A spokesperson for the CLA stated that is its membership is tired of cleaning up other people’s rubbish, while members are also suffering multiple incidents, putting pressure on their bottom line.

The research found that more than one-third of all fly-tipping incidents over the period were equivalent in size to a small van load, while ‘tipper lorry load’ sized incidents, accounting for around 3 per cent of incidents, are costing councils almost £13 million to deal with.

The CLA said that the only way to combat the issue is to have a ‘joined up’ approach and for rural police forces to recognise the changing nature of the crime and to respond accordingly.

The organisation has also called for changes to the law to ensure that landowners are no longer legally liable when waste is fly-tipped on their land.

It added that this must be coupled with financial and logistical support to help rural businesses clear up waste that has nothing to do with them.

For advice on matters relating to rural businesses and the agriculture sector, contact our expert team at Milsted Langdon today.

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