Fly-tipping dealt with by councils this year has fallen by 13.5%, according to the latest figures from the Environment Agency (EA).
The total number of incidents for 2010-11 was 820,000, although the EA notes that some of this reduction is due to changes in the reporting arrangements by some local authorities.
Nearly two-thirds (63%) of tipping cases involved household waste and 8% was commercial material. Nearly half (44%) was on or beside roads, typically dropped off by a small van or similar vehicle.
The EA estimates the cost of clearing this illegally dumped waste at £41.3m, a reduction of 9.8% over 2009-10.
Local authorities carried out around 568,000 enforcement actions in 2010-11 at an estimated cost of £20.6m. There were 2,400 prosecutions, of which 96% resulted in conviction.
Environment secretary Caroline Spelman said: “Fly-tipping figures are down and prosecutions are up, but the menace of fly-tippers still cost taxpayers more than £40m every year.
“That’s why we’re cracking down by giving enforcement authorities stronger powers to seize suspected fly-tippers’ vehicles, and working with the courts to make sure the punishment fits the crime.”