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Last Updated: Thursday, 10 May 2007, 14:35 GMT 15:35 UK
Councils made to cut fly-tipping
Fortnightly rubbish collections have been severely criticised
Councils bringing in fortnightly rubbish collections will have to introduce a programme to tackle fly-tipping, the government has said.

Environment Minister Lord Rooker said evidence from Europe showed fly-tipping had increased when collections were made fortnightly.

He told the Lords the issue was an "obvious concern" for him.

About a third of councils now use the fortnightly system, intended to hit recycling targets and cut waste.

'Specific programmes'

Under the system, rubbish is collected one week and recycling the next.

Lord Rooker said he was concerned that there had already been an increase in fly-tipping where collections were fortnightly.

He told the Lords: "This obviously concerns me.

"The evidence across Europe is that if pressure is put on householders, in terms of costs, there has been an increase in fly-tipping where these measures have been introduced.

We will continue to work with the Environment Agency and local authorities to achieve a year-on-year reduction in fly-tipping
Lord Rooker
Environment Minister

"Under the new proposals that will come forward with the waste management structure, local councils that make these changes will have to have ... a specific programme to see that fly-tipping is proactively dealt with."

Lord Rooker added "good progress" had been made in implementing the government's waste crime strategy designed to cut fly-tipping.

"We will continue to work with the Environment Agency and local authorities to achieve a year-on-year reduction in fly-tipping," he said.

Tory Baroness Knight of Collingtree had told the Lords: "There is now an extra incentive to carry out fly-tipping, since so many parts of this country have to put up with fortnightly household rubbish collections."

'Serious issue'

Fellow Conservative, Baroness Trumpington said: "Fly-tipping is an extremely expensive, national disgrace."

Lord Rooker told her: "There is a fly-tipping incident in England and Wales about every 30 seconds.

"More than half the incidents involve personal waste, not necessarily by the householder but by people who have collected from householders."

He added: "The issue is serious. It represents 89,000 incidents a month, as measured by local authorities. In England and Wales, that means someone is doing some fly-tipping every half-minute.


"It is costing the taxpayer about 50m to clean up the public realm. For private land ... it is costing another 50m a year to clear that."

Penalties for fly-tipping have been raised from a maximum of 20,000 to 50,000.

Fortnightly bin collections have been severely criticised, with complaints about bad smells, maggots and vermin.

The Local Government Association (LGA) said the scheme encourages recycling because people tend to find their bin for non-recyclable rubbish fills up, which causes them to use the space in their "green" bin.

A study for the LGA suggested that councils which switched from weekly to fortnightly collections had achieved higher recycling rates.

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