New fines may not stem rising tide of dumped rubbish, warns CLA

10 May 2016

The CLA in the North has welcomed new fixed penalty notices for fly-tipping, which come into force today (9 May), but fears they may not be enough to stem the rising tide of refuse dumped in rural areas.

From today, local authorities will be able to issue fines for small scale fly-tipping of up to £400, as an alternative to prosecution, following the introduction of new government regulations on the unauthorised deposit of waste.

According to figures from Defra, 900,000 fly-tipping incidents were dealt with by local authorities in England during 2014/15. The CLA, which represents landowners, farmers and rural businesses, says these figures exclude much of the waste dumped on farmland and other private land where it poses risks to local wildlife, farm animals and the environment.

Landowners are liable for any waste that is fly-tipped on their land and can be prosecuted if they do not clear it away, often at considerable cost to their business.

CLA North Regional Director Dorothy Fairburn said: “According to government figures, there were less than 2,000 prosecutions for fly-tipping last year, which is why more effective action is urgently needed.

“The problem seems to have worsened recently in some areas, possibly as a result of local authorities making changes to their household recycling operations, and the CLA has been calling for offenders to be dealt with more robustly.

“Fixed penalty notices alone will not solve the problem as they only work if the offender is caught in the act. Farmers and rural landowners need to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to the police.”