Fly tipping epidemic: counting the cost

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In 2016/17 there were over 1 million incidents of fly tipping on public land in England. This cost local authorities around £2.5 billion to clear up.

Fly tipping costs you money

In 2013, Derwent Living paid £41,000 to remove illegally dumped items. In 2014 this increased to £52,200. It reached £73,600 in 2016 and we expect that figure to rise again for 2017.

The cost of cleaning up fly tipping falls to Derwent Living initially, but it is unavoidably passed back to residents through service charges.

Derwent Living is keen to reduce the rising problem of fly tipping that is affecting our communities.

Our neighbourhoods

Last year we hired a skip for the residents of Ruston Way, Lincoln, where fly tipping costs had spiralled to £5,000 in 2016.

We regularly publish articles in Derwent Life, on our website and on social media, urging people to use their local recycling centres or to report any fly tipping activity.

Unfortunately, fly tipping is still a problem.

Just some examples of the fly tipping our housing officers have snapped recently.

Getting rid

As residents, you are responsible for the disposal of your own waste.

If you choose to dump it (whether in a bin store or elsewhere) you are committing a criminal offence and imposing increased costs on yourself and your neighbours.

If you are moving home, you are responsible for disposing of unwanted items responsibly – you are not permitted to leave these items in a bin store.

The best thing to do is take your unwanted items to your local recycling centre or “tip”. These are usually free for anyone living in the area.

If you don’t know where your local tip is, check your council website or give them a call.

Alongside recycling centres, most local authorities provide a bulky items collection. This may be free but some councils charge so contact your local authority for details and pricing.

What can Derwent Living do?

Before removing fly tipped items, Derwent Living inspect the fly tip to see if there are identifiers, such as letters with addresses on.

If we have evidence that one of our residents has been fly tipping we will remove the waste and charge the full cost back to that resident.

As a private landlord, Derwent Living has no legislative enforcement powers to take action against any individual who has allegedly committed this offence.

However, we will gather as much evidence as possible and report it to the relevant authority for further action – this could result in a prosecution with a potential fine of £50,000 if proven.

Report it!

If you report it, the rubbish can be removed and with your help the crime can be investigated.

If you see someone fly tipping or want to report fly tipping, please provide as much detail as possible to Derwent Living - date, time, place it happened, description of the waste and, if applicable, a description of the culprits or their vehicle.

If you have a camera phone or a camera, and it is safe to do so, please take a picture of what you have seen. Do not approach anyone you see fly tipping. Fly tippers do not want to be caught and some may become violent.

Even if you do not wish to be a witness, or give your name, it is still important to report these crimes. It will be useful to us in potentially recovering costs and passing the offender’s details onto the relevant authority for further action. Remember: never touch the waste - it may contain syringes, broken glass, or toxic and hazardous materials.

Homeowners

Outright owners - if you let your property out, you are responsible for the behaviour of your tenants – this includes their fly tipping.

Derwent Living will inspect the fly tip for identifiers. If fly tipping can be traced back to the tenants of outright owners, the owner will be recharged with the cost of removal.