Under new guidelines aimed at countering the issue, the Government has said that councils must do more to stop householders discarding their rubbish illegally.
National fly-tipping database Flycapture estimated that 81% of the money spent on the problem is on clearance. This is in stark contrast to a mere 7% on prevention and 12% on enforcement.
Environment Minister Ben Bradshaw said: Councils have tended to concentrate on clearance. That is vital, but there needs to be more emphasis on preventing fly-tipping happening in the first place.
Prevention, coupled with coming down hard on those caught fly-tipping, could help reduce the problem and save money.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) good practice guide offers advice such as placing surveillance cameras in fly-tipping hotspots, providing extended opening hours at tips and encourages councils to give greater publicity to fines people face for breaking the law.
Frustration at a lack of disposal routes and tip opening hours is noted as a common cause, with Defra calling for a greater provision of facilities to take waste.
It also states that the practice must be publicised as a risky crime, with individuals facing fines of up to £5,000 for failing to deal with their rubbish properly.
The Defra guide is based on research carried out by the Jill Dando Institute of Crime Science which notes that although there appears to be a number of operations fly-tipping on a commercial scale for big profits, there are a far greater number of occasional offenders.
The latter account for over half the clean-up costs, but are more easily deterred.
Bradshaw added: The Jill Dando Institute has provided some useful guidance on prevention.
Simple actions such as better collection services or longer opening times at local tips are often shown to make a real difference.
This can be combined with further discouragement through CCTV and publicising the potential fines for fly-tipping, which have been increased through the recent Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act.