Flytipping increases 29% between 2019/20 and 2020/21 in The Garden of England

Fly-tipping is defined as the “illegal deposit of any waste on to land that does not have a licence to accept it”.

Once again, the number of reported flytipping incidences between the financial years 2019/20 and 2020/21 has risen  by 29%, across all twelve councils in Kent (not including Medway), according to the latest data released by the Department of Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

That said , the average increase was 20%, across each district in Kent, between 2019/20  &  2020/21, while Covid run amok.

From March 24 2020, during the first Covid-19 related lockdown Kent County Council closed their household waste recycling centres (HWRCs) due to issues with maintaining Coronavirus-related social distancing restrictions.

The HWRCs reopened on Friday 15 May 2020, but only between 9am and 3pm, with a booking system for slots put in place, and which went live on Wednesday 20 May.

Since flytipping records began in 2012/13, the total amount of reported incidences across Kent districts up to 2020/21, has risen by 107%, or an average annual rate of 10%. The Garden of England is becoming a rubbish dump by those who cannot behave responsibly. Incidences of flytipping we suspect may well get worse, as incomes are squeezed, due to price increases and the national insurance rise, due in April 2022.

Local authorities are responsible for dealing with investigating, clearing and taking appropriate enforcement action in relation to smaller scale fly-tipping on public land (including public roads and highways within their responsibility). For further information see the guidance, Fly-tipping: council responsibilities, updated July 2019 and the NFTPG guide, Fly-tipping responsibilities: Guide for local authorities and land managers.

The penalties for fly-tipping are set out in the Environmental Protection Act 1990. There is currently no minimum fine set out in law for unlawfully depositing waste under Section 33 of the Environmental Protection Act. Sentencing in individual cases is a matter for the independent courts.

There are also a range of other possible penalties including:

Fixed penalty notices: From 9 May 2016, local authorities in England can issue fixed penalty notices of between £150 to £400 for small-scale fly-tipping offences pursuant to the Unauthorised Deposit of Waste (Fixed Penalties) Regulations 2016. This may be served as a criminal penalty in lieu of prosecution for a criminal offence. It is not a civil penalty.

That said, the issuing of fines for the 29% increase of flytipping between 2019/20 & 2020/21, in The Garden of England, increased by only 6%, or from £126,869 to £134,283.

Flytipping is a blot on the landscape wherever that may be.

We would remind every resident in Kent, the disposal of certain materials is free of charge, these include general household waste or green’ garden waste. Other categories of DIY waste such as kitchen units, non-ceramic sinks, baths and doors may still be taken to one of the KCC, 18 Household Waste Recycling Centres, free of charge.

There are though charges for

  • breeze blocks, bricks, cement, concrete and drain pipes

  • ceramic bathroom and kitchen items (baths, bidets, cisterns, shower trays, sinks, toilet pans, wash basins)

  • flagstones, granite, marble, paving slabs

  • hardcore, rubble, gravel, rocks, stones

  • plasterboard

  • sand

  • soil

  • tiles (ceramic, clay, slate)

  • tyres (charged for since 2012).

Should fines be increased? That’s a tough one, for as we said, household incomes are being squeezed, and this will impact more on those with lower incomes.

Should KCC consider lowering the prices they currently charge? Since the introduction of charges on the 3rd June 2019, for certain items, there might well be an argument for that. If you believe you could put a case, then do contact your local KCC Cllr ⇒ here.

If you see anyone flytipping, please do report it. You can do this via your local council website, their facebook page or twitter account. Flytipping is not a vicitmless or costless crime. The land where it is tipped is owned by somebody and clearing it up costs, both time and money.

For a full breakdown of the incidences of reported flipping for districts in Kent, they can found here ⇒ Full breakdown of the reported flytipping incidents 2020-21

The Shepway Vox Team

Never Knowingly Talking Rubbish




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