Record levels of illegal fly-tipping reported this week are likely to lead to an increased burden of costs to private landowners in removing the waste, claims VPS, a leading property management specialist. A government report just issued estimates that the private sector already pays up to three times more than local authorities to dispose of illegally dumped rubbish. The cost of fly-tipping on private land is estimated to cost up to £150 million a year, in comparison to the cost of clearance of fly-tipping to local authorities in England at nearly £50 million.
“A staggering 900,000 cases of fly-tipping were reported by local authorities in the most recent recorded 12-month period.” Says Gavin Pringle, Managing Director of property security and support services company VPS, who employ specialist teams to clean and clear rubbish and waste from properties and surrounding land.
“Add to that the instances that go unreported, particularly on private land, then the actual figure is highly likely to be well over a million cases of the illegal disposal of household, industrial and commercial waste.”
New fixed penalty fines are introduced this week to help tackle the growing issue of fly-tipping in England and Wales, so that now local authorities have the powers to issue fines of between £150 to £400 for small-scale fly-tipping cases. The fines are in addition to the more substantial incidents which are criminal offences punishable by a fine of up to £50,000 or 12 months’ imprisonment if convicted in a Magistrates’ Court. The offence can attract an unlimited fine and up to 5 years’ imprisonment if convicted in a Crown Court.
“Private landowners may not realise it, but it is their responsibility to remove fly-tipped waste and dispose of it legally, and at their expense. They can be fined £5,000 and a further £500 per day if they don’t.” Comments Gavin Pringle. “It makes economic and environmental sense to implement measures that prevent fly-tipping in the first place and introduce stronger perimeter security, which might include CCTV.”