Organised crime blamed for rise in fly-tipping

Organised criminal gangs are being blamed for the continued rise of large fly-tipping incidents across England, which has cost councils nearly £60 million since 2012.

Parts of London and Manchester have been hardest hit by a growing crisis in illegal waste removal services, with the Countryside Alliance’s head of policy Sarah Lee stressing that tougher sentences were needed to address the crisis.

The BBC Shared Data Unit found that large-scale fly-tipping - defined as tipper lorry load or more in size - has more than doubled in six years. As a result, last year, councils faced a £12.8 million bill to clear more than 36,200 large tips, which accounted for more than a fifth of the overall cost of clearing fly-tips.

The National Farmers' Union said that the new figures highlight a ‘nightmare situation’ that continued to ‘spiral out of control’, pointing to the way in which criminals were using lock-cutting tools to break into private land and tip vast quantities of waste that can cost hundreds of thousands of pounds to clear.

Keep Britain Tidy chief executive Allison Ogden-Newton told the BBC that local authorities need to be properly resourced to tackle large-scale crime, saying that investment will show that the new government is committed to getting serious about mass fly-tipping.