Fly-tipping in Folkestone & Hythe District rises 52%, the highest in Kent

The number of recorded fly-tipping incidents between 2020/21 and 2021/22, across the Folkestone & Hythe District has grown by 52%, according to the latest statistics released by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) on the 31 Jan 2023. This is the highest rise of any district and given only three districts in Kent saw a rise, it is quite a remarkable rise indeed.

Since 2017/18, the number of recorded fly-tipping incidents across the Folkestone & Hythe District has risen by an average of 38%  year on year.

Overall the number of fly-tipping incidents across Kent districts has fallen by 9%, according to the latest data released by DEFRA. Only three have seen an increase between 2020/21 and 21/22, they are Canterbury (4%), Folkestone & Hythe (52%) & Maidstone (16%)

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.

Since records begun two people who’ve fly-tipped in the Folkestone & Hythe  District have been given custodial sentences, after the Council prosecuted them via the courts. 14 people have received fines issued by courts to the sum of £6,518, and 52 people have  received Fixed Penalty Notices issued specifically for fly-tipping. Despite the fines and the fixed penalty notices, the number of fly-tipping incidents is increasing. It’s clear even with custodial sentences being handed out and fines, this is not sufficient to prevent people from blotting our district’s beautiful landscape.

Fly-tipping is a blot on the landscape wherever that may be.

We would remind every resident in the district, 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 Kent County Council consider lowering the prices they currently charge at Household Waste Recycling Centres in the district, given there is a cost of living crisis? Since the introduction of charges on the 3rd June 2019, for certain items, there might well be an argument for that, especially in the areas where there has been an increase. If you believe you could put a case, then do contact your local KCC Cllr Susan Carey (Con) (pictured) Cabinet Member for the Environment at You can also contact Cllr Stuart Peall (Con) (pictured) the FHDC Cabinet Member for Flytipping enforcement

If you see anyone fly-tipping, please do report it. You can do this via your local council website, their facebook page or twitter account. Fly-tipping 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; which has a direct impact on the amount of Council Tax you pay.

The Shepway Vox Team

Never Knowingly Talking Rubbish



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3 Comments on Fly-tipping in Folkestone & Hythe District rises 52%, the highest in Kent

  1. The incidence of fly-tipping is only to be expected when recycling sites still operate a booking system, way beyond the pandemic restrictions.

    Surely now is the time to resort back to ‘Turn up and tip’ like we used to enjoy.

    Personally I have a wealth of waste to dispose of but do not wish to be restricted by any booking system. I will not fly-tip though.

    Burnable waste now goes on my bonfire despite climate change. Not my fault, I would suggest, rather the fault of Council who have reacted too slowly to changing conditions.

    Is anyone monitoring this?

    • @Asial – Nothing wrong with the booking system. The waste doesn’t magically appear, it is as a result of planning to do something. Just add your booking to your plan.

  2. I have always found the booking system works well, and most times I have gone on the website to book I have had a slot the same day. I prefer the booking system as I don’t spend so much time queuing as I did when it was turn up and tip. Fly tipping is a big problem in my rural area. Lazy people seem to think its someone else’s problem to clear their rubbish up!! Fines should be bigger when they are caught.

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