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Last Updated: Monday, 19 March 2007, 12:32 GMT
UK fly-tipping 'on massive scale'
Furniture dumped in Kent
Fly-tipping means big bills for councils and private landowners
Fly-tipping is taking place on a "massive scale" across the UK, the Countryside Alliance has warned.

Some 2.5m cases of illegal dumping were recorded between April 2005 and 2006, it said, with 1,249,527 incidents reported in Liverpool alone.

The alliance used the Freedom of Information Act to find out from local authorities the scale of the problem.

Fly-tipping may become "an increasingly appealing option" if households start being charged for rubbish, it added.

Last year, a think tank urged the government to give councils powers to charge households for disposing of non-recyclable rubbish.

Rubbish in Avon Forest, East Sussex
1. Liverpool - 1,249,527
2. Sheffield - 161,898
3. Haringey, London - 63,767
4. K'ton and Chelsea - 58,374
5. Manchester - 30,818
6. Birmingham - 25,782
7. Southwark, London - 24,852
8. Lewisham, London - 18,987
9. Portsmouth - 18,883
10. Newcastle - 18,244

The Institute for Public Policy Research said a "pay as you throw" system was the only way to improve the UK's poor recycling record.

Such a "bin tax" has not been ruled out by the government.

However, the Countryside Alliance says this means Britain's dire fly-tipping "may get worse before it gets better".

The alliance said its report marked the launch of its national campaign which aimed to push the issue up the agenda.

The cost of clearing up fly-tipping to local authorities alone was nearly 100m between April 2005/2006, the alliance said.

Black bags

Black bags full of domestic rubbish accounted for 63% of all fly-tipping and more than half of fly-tipping took place in alleyways, the report revealed.

Its report also called fly-tipping "one of the most widespread problems facing the countryside", which was a big concern and expense to private landowners.

Last year, there were just 24,460 prosecutions for fly-tipping, meaning only one in every 100 fly-tipping offenders was prosecuted, the report said.

If you fly-tip on private land the owner gets the stress of clearing it up and the bill. If you fly-tip on public land the taxpayer gets the bill
Countryside Alliance

This resulted in eight custodial sentences, 44 community services and 120 absolute or conditional discharges.

Countryside Alliance chief executive Simon Hart said: "Many people believe that fly-tipping is something they can get away with and that the victim is faceless. This is nonsense.

"If you fly-tip on private land the owner gets the stress of clearing it up and the bill. If you fly-tip on public land the taxpayer gets the bill.

"And in both instances, as well as breaking the law, you are ruining the beauty of the countryside for everyone."

The report said offenders ranged from one-off "opportunistic" fly-tippers to criminal gangs carrying out regular and highly-organised fly-tipping operations.

The Countryside Alliance wants to consult with local communities over several months before publishing proposals in September on how best to address the problem.

It is also co-ordinating a National Fly-Tipping Week from 23 to 29 April to raise awareness.


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