The UK Fly Tipped Rubbish Removal Crisis Is Getting Worse

The Local Government Association (LGA) has just released a special report on the alarming fly tipped rubbish removal crisis facing the entire UK. Beyond releasing the raw numbers and stats, which are often not enough to adequately convey the enormous magnitude of the problem, they seem to have gone great lengths to paint a more accurate mental image of just how much rubbish removal is being fly tipped! Here is a summary of the colorful and effective way they report the data:

1. If you lined up all of the rubbish removal fly tipped each year in the UK, it would span from London to Moscow! According to Google, that’s about 2888 kilometers (1798 miles) by car or about 2500 kilometers (1554 miles) if you’re a bird (or airplane). Can you imagine a line of rubbish removal that long in your mind?

2. If you loaded regular sized cargo vans with this fly tipped rubbish removal, and then placed them bumper to bumper on the outer London M25 motorway, they’d go around twelve and a half times!

3. Have you ever been to the Wembley football stadium? This fly tipped rubbish removal would go around the pitch of this large stadium about 22,446 times!

Each of these conversions paint more of an illuminating mental image of just how much rubbish removal is fly tipped in UK in a single year than any raw numbers of plain stats could. The Local Government Association has done a good job in their report of driving home their point of the extraordinary amount of rubbish removal that is being fly tipped, much of it onto public lands.

Much of this fly tipped waste removal is in plain sight, causing a very serious blight issue. Further, as we all know by common sense, and scientific studies have shown as well, blight begets blight. Once a place has been fly tipped, people don’t seem to care as much anymore and fly tipping in that area goes up exponentially.

Of course, fly tipping is an environmental travesty. Not only that, it is very costly to the local citizens who have to foot the bill. The Local Government Association estimates that it cost local citizens about £57 million last year to investigate and clean up fly tipped areas, which represents a THIRTEEN PERCENT RISE IN COST in just one year!

In the 2016 to 2017 fiscal year, the Local Government Association report sthat 492,139 incidents of fly tipping occurred. They refer to it as “environmental vandalism” but this hardly seems a strong enough word given both the dire environmental and economical impact, not to mention the time burden it puts on investigators and prosecutors! While it is vandalism of a sort, the effects go well beyond other forms of vandalism.

The Local Government Association has three hundred seventy-one local councils in England and Wales as members and they are all joining forces. Their primary purpose is to represent the needs of local government at the national level. Thus, when they put an issue of this significance into a formal written report, it tends to reverberate rapidly across the press! Within just a few hours of this rubbish removal report on the fly tipping being released, dozens of news outlets had already run stories, extensively citing the report, but also adding their own perspective.

As you can imagine, the various news outlets, with their professional graphics departments, augmented their news stories with illustrations, charts, and pictures. In some cases, they showed images of aerial views of the fly tipped rubbish removal.  These aerial views really give credence to the old expression, “a picture is worth a thousand words!” It’s one thing to see portions of fly tipped rubbish along a roadside while you are driving by. It’s quite another to see it from the air stretched out for many miles along an entire highway!

The media has also used this report to stress social messages about fly tipping rubbish removal. For example, The Telegraph posted an ugly picture of a fly tipped mess in the village of Cottenham, and in the context of this ugly picture, warned their readers about the perils of using “Facebook fly tippers” as a cheap method to remove rubbish! The paper called these fly tipping scam artists “small time criminals” and urged people not to hire them.

Media outlets also reminded their readers that they can be fined £400 if their rubbish, at the scene of a fly tipped zone, is traced back to them personally, even if they themselves did not fly tip it. This is a fairly new law that some citizens are not aware of yet and the Government seems highly motivated to prosecute people under this new law.

The Local Government Association is appealing to Government to allow them to collect fines directly for the clean up costs, which are substantial! While they are now allowed to impose fixed penalties for fly tippers they turn in for prosecution, when the fines are paid through the court system, they go first to pay for prosecution expenses. The councils then have to wait for years to get reimbursed the clean up costs, if they ever do get reimbursed. This has put them in the position of not really being able to afford to clean up the fly tipped areas.

The Local Government Association is very plainly pointing out that this is not a sustainable method for them to deal with this rubbish removal problem. Further, it is made worse by the fact that it is now predicted that the local councils will have a £5 billion shortfall in just two years! Only time will tell if the Government will streamline the refunding process so that local councils can actually afford to clean up the fly tipped catastrophes currently plaguing the landscape.

If you have rubbish removal at your own home or business, please don’t even consider fly tipping it! One of the easiest ways to get rid of it is to call Clearabee, the UK’s largest on demand rubbish removal company. They are very flexible and will work with you to set up a convenient time and even give you an estimated cost before they come. As an added bonus, you’ll have the peace of mind knowing that Clearabee diverts more than ninety percent of all the rubbish removal they collect from landfills! Instead, they find good ways to reuse, upcycle, and recycle the waste removal they deal with.

News Reporter
Greg Jones: Greg's blog posts are known for their clear and concise coverage of economic and financial news. With a background as a financial journalist, he offers readers valuable insights into the complexities of the global economy.