There are two fly-tipping incidents every day on average on the Isle of Wight, figures show.
Data released by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has revealed the scale of the “epidemic” facing councils across the country, with almost one million incidents recorded in England in 2017-18.
On the Isle of Wight, there were 827 fly-tipping incidents in the 12 months to March.
This was an increase of 338% from five years ago, when there were 189.
Across England, fly-tipping increased by 40% over the same period.
Last year the Isle of Wight council reduced the opening times at Lynnbotton Tip and Afton Marsh tips.
Increase in large-scale tips
The bulk of incidents on the Isle of Wight last year involved volumes of waste that were the equivalent of a small van load.
However, the area is also seeing increasing numbers of large-scale tips, involving a lorry load of rubbish or more.
LGA: “Unacceptable environmental vandalism”
The Local Government Association, which represents local authorities, said councils were determined to “end the scourge” of fly-tipping.
Councillor Martin Tett, environment spokesman for the LGA, said:
“This new analysis shows the scale of the fly-tipping epidemic we face in this country.
“Fly-tipping is unsightly and unacceptable environmental vandalism.
“It’s an absolute disgrace for anyone to think that they can use the environments in which our residents live as a repository for litter.”
Types of rubbish dumped
The most common type of waste dumped on the Isle of Wight was black bags of household rubbish, which accounted for 364 incidents, followed by household waste and plant and vegetation waste.
The majority of fly-tipping sites – 96% of them – were on roads.
Clearing up the rubbish and taking action against perpetrators is estimated to have cost the council around £50,600 last year.
Councils can take a range of actions against fly-tipping, from sending warning letters to launching prosecutions.
Despite the rise in fly-tipping, the number of actions being taken against perpetrators on the Isle of Wight has fallen from 189 in 2012-13 to 65 last year.
These included launching 49 investigations, sending out 14 warning letters and undertaking one inspections.
There were no prosecutions, however.
Tax payer picks up the bill
Cllr Tett continued,
“Councils are determined to protect local environments.
“New fixed penalty notice powers from the Government will help but every single conviction for more serious fly-tipping offences still results in council taxpayers having to pick up the bill.
“We need to make sure that when councils take offenders to court, a faster, more effective legal system ensures that serious fly-tipping offences result in hard-hitting fines.”
Last year, overall fly-tipping incidents in England fell slightly by around 1% – the first fall for five years.
However, large-scale tips increased by 9% over the same period.
Since 2012-13, the number of actions taken by councils has risen by 16%.
Defra: Tough actions deliver results
A spokesman for Defra said:
“The figures show our tough actions to crack down on fly-tippers are delivering results.
“Councils are using powers to hand out on-the-spot fines to fly-tippers to good effect, and we have made it easier for vehicles suspected of being used for fly-tipping to be stopped, searched and seized.
“New fixed penalty notices for householders who pass their waste to a fly-tipper also come into force shortly, as we continue our efforts to crack down on those who blight our landscapes.”
Article shared by Data Reporter as part of OnTheWight’s collaboration with Press Association and Urbs Media