Essex Council: Take action to reduce the $186 million cost of fly-tipping

An officer from the council inspects a tip

To stop fly-tipping, which is costing UK councils, action must be taken. up to £186m. a year to look into and resolve, according to a report.

Councils have been urged by the think tank Policy Exchange to enforce anti-littering laws.

Fly-tippers should not be "tolerated," according to Andrew Baggott, the leader of Basildon Council in Essex.

In addition to other actions, the government claimed to have "doubled the maximum on-the-spot fine for littering.".

More than a million fly-tipping incidents were dealt with by local authorities in England in 2021–2022.

Basildon Council leader Andrew Baggott
Andrew Baggott, the leader of Basildon Council, warned that those who disregarded the warnings against fly-tipping would face fines.

A pile of household trash that had been dumped in a quiet country lane near Crays Hill was displayed to BBC Politics East by Nigel Todd, an enforcement officer with Basildon Council.

According to him, "Someone may have paid a dishonest waste carrier to remove their waste, and instead of ending up at a waste recycling center, it ended up at the side of the road.".

"The person who removed the waste has obviously fly-tipped it, so they're in trouble. The person who paid to have the waste removed is also responsible because, by law, they have a duty of care to ensure that the person taking their waste away has the proper accreditation. ".

"I encounter locals who have been completely devastated by the effect on their personal lives, and I just feel for them. I'm utterly horrified. " .

A folded piece of paper was stuck behind the back panel of a child's chest of drawers when Mr. Todd turned it over. It was written in letter form and included an address. He needs to look into something.

Fly tipping
In the East of England, there were 75,664 fly-tipping incidents that were reported in 2021–2022 alone.

Basildon is the council in the east of England that issues the most fixed penalty notices (6,420). Only this week, a local man who admitted to fly-tipping a tonne of construction waste was given a $2,400 fine and ordered to pay £1,050 in costs.

Anyone who believes they can do things like this at the expense of other people is not tolerated, according to Mr. Baggott.

"Our philosophy is to first educate, then fine. Three strikes and you're out. We will talk to someone, give them a chance, and give them another chance. ".

The report on littering from Policy Exchange recommends:.

  • a campaign to make littering unacceptable at the national level.
  • improved bin availability.
  • the tripling of fines, which now cost an average of £400.
  • A council league table to demonstrate how effective councils are at tackling the issue.

According to the report, the government's most recent statistics demonstrate a 21 percent rise in fly-tipping incidents in the east of England over the previous two years.

There were 75,664 reported incidents in the entire region, with Peterborough reporting the most (8,981), Luton (6,256), and Norwich (4,805).

Basildon Council anti-fly tipping sign
Fly-tipping, in the eyes of Basildon Council, is unacceptable.

According to the report, the UK litter strategy needs to be restarted after years of inaction and a "worrying number of councils" that fail to enforce the law.

Lord Eric Pickles, a former government cabinet minister, ex-MP for Brentwood and Ongar in Essex, and former Conservative leader of Bradford Council, said, "We need to treat litter a lot more seriously.".

"This is not a victimless crime; it has an impact on the environment, wildlife, and waterways. ".

A "name and shame" league table of council prosecutions, according to Lord Pickles, would put pressure on authorities to take more action.

"Litter blights our communities, spoils our countryside, harms our wildlife, and taxpayers' money is wasted cleaning it up," a spokeswoman for the Department of Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs said.

She continued, "Councils have been given the authority to target owners of vehicles from which litter is thrown with penalty charge notices.".

On Sunday, February 26 at 10:00 GMT, Politics East on BBC One will have more information on this story. It will also be available on. iPlayer by BBC. afterwards.

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