Fly-tipping clear-up costs top £50m

FLY-TIPPING costs local authorities £50m a year to clear up, according to new figures.

Councils dealt with 936,000 fly-tipping incidents in 2015-16, up four per cent on the previous year.

The Local Government Association said that with social care facing a funding gap of £2.6bn by the end of the decade and councils' overall funding shortfall set to hit £5.8bn within three years, councils can ill-afford to divert funds from frontline services to clear up litter and "environmental vandalism" like fly-tipping.

"The Government has responded to our call for councils to be able to apply Fixed Penalty Notices for small-scale fly-tipping - and this is a big step in the right direction," said environment spokesperson Cllr Judith Blake.  

"We need a new streamlined system which helps councils - one that is nimble, flexible and effective. Not only does fly-tipping create an eyesore for residents, it is also a serious public health risk, creating pollution and attracting rats and other vermin.   

"There are a number of additional changes that would help tackle littering and fly-tipping, including sharing more of the responsibility with product producers. This includes manufacturers providing more take-back services so people can hand in old furniture and mattresses when they buy new ones."