Rural councils warn of ‘fly-tipping farm-aggedon’

The District Councils Network has claimed that fly-tippers are increasingly targeting rural areas amid warnings from councils of a ‘fly-tipping farm-aggedon’.

Figures show that in the past seven years, the number of fly-tipping incidents on agricultural spots has increased by two thirds – from 888 in 2012/13 to 1,473 in 2018/19, with the DCN warning that farm land is a growing target for such actions.

As a result, district councils have recorded more than 200,000 fly-tips last year (2018/19) and issued £220,000 in fines, which fell short of the £250,000 prosecution costs. Furthermore, districts are seeing a big spike in white goods being dumped, with a tripling from 3,928 incidents in 2012/13 to 12,319 in 2018/19.

Dan Humphreys, the DCN’s Lead Member for Enhancing Quality of Life said: “Fly-tipping is the scourge of our communities. Not only does this eyesore ruin local areas, damage the environment and cause misery for residents, but it also creates a public health risk. However, as our findings show, what is now becoming increasingly apparent, is how criminal fly-tippers are turning their attentions to targeting agricultural areas, blighting our idyllic countryside.

“Districts, which are responsible for clearing up fly-tipping, are doing all they can to fight fly-tippers, and have taken action over 600,000 times in the past five years. To help districts continue waging war on fly-tipping, the new government needs to make sure districts have the funding and flexibilities to ensure waste is well managed locally, and for sentencing guidelines to be reviewed so courts issue bigger fines for the more serious offences.”