Fly-tipping up 85 per cent across Nottinghamshire

Flytipping in Nottingham
Fly-tipping on a street corner in Sneinton

Fly-tipping in Nottinghamshire has almost doubled in the last five years, the latest figures show.

Data from GOV.UK shows this significant increase from 2018/2019 to 2022/2023, with around 85 reported incidences on average a day across the region.

Between 2018/2019 and 2022/2023 fly-tipping across Nottinghamshire rose from 16,797 incidents to 31,022.

Incidents in the Nottingham City Council area increased by a 170 per cent, rising from 7864 to 21,298 incidents, while in Broxtowe it increased by 49 per cent and Mansfield’s spiked by 46 per cent.

Gedling and Rushcliffe saw slight decreases.

Figures for 2023/24 have not yet been published.

Rural areas can be affected by dumped waste due to the lack of surveillance, with farmers often having to deal with the damage.

The National Farmers Union (NFU) sent surveys to all farms across Nottinghamshire last year where around 60 per cent suffered from fly-tipping, making it the single biggest crime the farmers dealt with.

Andy Guy, a former farmer and the County Advisor for the NFU in Nottinghamshire, said: “If rubbish is tipped on the roadside it is the responsibility of the local authority but if its private land it’s the responsibility of the land owner…[farmers] sometimes have to rent a skip.

“It’s a huge problem, a financial problem and an inconvenience… they can’t get to their livestock to look after them.”

There are concerns over toxic waste and illegal drugs being dumped on farmland.

Mr Guy added: “It’s asbestos, paint, things that cannot be just disposed of and has to come out of the farmer’s pocket.

“A surprising amount of it is relating to people with illegal drug farms, where obviously they can’t put that in the bin so they take that into the countryside and dump it.”

The ex-farmer is calling for more awareness surrounding this issue and rule changes for commercial waste.

Tradespeople cannot take their commercial waste to a tip, leading some to dispose of bathtubs and cabinets in rural areas.

Mr Guy added: “[Farmers] are incorrectly accused of damaging the countryside… there’s nobody that loves the countryside more than farmers.”

Mobile phones and other items scattered along a path in Sneinton. Credit: Sarah Taylor

Sneinton in Nottingham has also been blighted by the roadside mess.

Sarah Taylor, 35, is an environmental manager living in the area who frequently sees dumped waste lining the streets.

She said: “The fly-tipping and general rubbish situation has got worse.

“We regularly experience it at the top of our road and report it to the council but it doesn’t always get sorted.

“It’s a shame because it brings the area down and attracts rats.”

Sarah Taylor, 35, has set up a cleanup group in response to the constant fly-tipping in her area

Sarah has initiated a cleanup group in response to her littered area.

She added: “I’ve just started a Sneinton Waste Action Group to run another litter pick alongside the existing one and to try and work with the council and local MPs to tackle the issue… so far twelve people have joined the group via Whatsapp.”

All local authorities were contacted for comment.

Ashfield, Bassetlaw and Nottingham City councils did not provide comment.

Councillor Paul Taylor, Portfolio Holder for Public Protection and Community Relations at Newark and Sherwood District Council, said: “Our officers work extremely hard to deter and identify offenders and, where possible, we will seek to prosecute those found to be responsible.

“We have issued 51 Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) for fly-tipping so far in 2024 and we will continue our crackdown on those who blatantly disregard our district.”

A Rushcliffe Borough Council spokesperson said: “The environment is among our key corporate priorities, and we take tough action to ensure those who choose to blight our communities are dealt with robustly.

“We’ve got amongst the lowest rates of fly-tipping in the county and our partnership with Waste Investigations Support & Enforcement (WISE) in recent years has been effective.

“Government data shows Rushcliffe has seen a reduction in fly-tipping incidences with 96 fewer incidences in 2022 – 23, in comparison to the previous year and a falling trend for the last three years.”

Sarah’s waste collection group can be found on Facebook as ‘Sneinton Waste Action Group’.

The full responses on their efforts to tackle flytipping from each council can be read below.

Mansfield District Council

A spokesperson for Mansfield District Council said: “The years in question – 2018 to 2023 – saw the number of incidents of fly tipping both rise and fall annually in the Mansfield District during this period.

Some of the rises in fly tipping incidents can be attributed to the operational effects of the pandemic shutdowns which saw waste and recycling centres closed at a time when people were spending more time at home and probably had time for that big clear-out they had been promising to do.

“There was also a bit of a spike in 2022/23 which may have been due to new stricter rules on the disposal of fridges due to the gases they contain which saw scrap collectors less willing to dispose of them. However, the latest figures for 2023/24 show a significant decrease in the number of fly tips in this district.

“The council takes a number of actions to reduce the number of fly tips which cost the authority a considerable amount of money each year to clear.

“Alongside our ongoing paid bulky, electrical and upholstered waste collections for all residents, we also offer free bulky waste collections in certain postcode areas of the district, which have been designated Priority Neighbourhoods and where car ownership may be lower. Not owning a vehicle makes it harder for some households to make use of recycling centres to dispose of their waste and more reliant on other means of disposing of unwanted items.

“We also investigate and take various actions, ranging from warning letters to Fixed Penalties and prosecutions, wherever we can to act as a deterrent and to make householders aware of their legal duty of care in ensuring waste from their property is disposed of properly and responsibly.

We regularly advise householders to check that the person they employ to take waste from their homes is a licensed waste carrier by looking them up on the Environment Agency website, and to take full contact details for them.”

Gedling Borough Council

“Fly tipping places a huge burden on council services and is a blight on our borough. Over the last year we have dealt with over 1,200 incidents at significant cost to taxpayers. We investigate as many as possible and rely on the public when gathering evidence to prosecute anyone caught flytipping. 

“Recent changes to legislation have allowed us to increase the cost of fines if anyone is caught and we will continue to do everything we can to reduce flytipping. 

“We urge residents to use registered waste carriers when removing large household waste as they could be liable for the flytipping offence if they do not use a licenced waste removal service.”

Broxtowe Borough Council:

“In 2023/24, there were 700 incidents of fly tipping reported across the Borough of Broxtowe. This was a 28% increase on the previous year.

Compared to the same period last year, the tonnage of fly tipping collected has actually decreased by 32% (82 tonnes in 2022/23, compared to 56 tonnes in 2023/24). This supports the analysis that fly tipping items are generally low weight and many of the items collected could have been disposed of in the black lidded bin.

Fly tipping hotspots have been identified within the Borough and the Council has installed ‘We are watching’ signage, our Neighbourhood Wardens also undertake patrols in these areas.

The Council treats fly tipping very seriously and will prosecute anyone caught doing so. Residents are encouraged to report any instances of fly tipping in the Borough online at www.broxtowe.gov.uk/reportit and can find out more information on what to do if a resident witnesses fly tipping, as well helpful information on how to responsibly dispose of waste.”

Newark and Sherwood District Council

Councillor Paul Taylor, Portfolio Holder for Public Protection and Community Relations at Newark and Sherwood District Council, said: “We do not tolerate fly-tipping. It is a blight on communities, damages our local environment, and the costs of removals and investigations could be better spent elsewhere improving our district.

“Our officers work extremely hard to deter and identify offenders and, where possible, we will seek to prosecute those found to be responsible. We have issued 51 Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) for fly-tipping so far in 2024 and we will continue our crackdown on those who blatantly disregard our district.

“We are committed to tackling environmental crime and are taking a proactive approach to do so, including joining forces with our local partners on operations to target illegal waste carriers and during our most recent operation we found a significant reduction of rogue waste operators, illegal scrap services and unroadworthy vehicles which is a testament to the on-going efforts of our teams and partners. We also visit local schools to educate on environmental crime and its consequences, and we always look to encourage residents to a check removal services are legitimate before paying them remove your waste. Our residents acting as our eyes and ears in the community and reporting any fly-tipping is vital and I would urge everyone if they see any fly-tipping incidents to always report them to us as soon as possible.”

Rushcliffe Borough Council

A Rushcliffe Borough Council spokesperson said: “The environment is among our key corporate priorities, and we take tough action to ensure those who choose to blight our communities are dealt with robustly.

“We’ve got amongst the lowest rates of fly-tipping in the county and our partnership with Waste Investigations Support & Enforcement (WISE) in recent years has been effective.

“Government data shows Rushcliffe has seen a reduction in fly-tipping incidences with 96 fewer incidences in 2022 – 23, in comparison to the previous year and a falling trend for the last three years.

“We continue to work with our partners to tackle fly-tipping in the Borough and take appropriate action against those who commit offence wherever possible.”

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