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Councils seek enhanced fly-tipping powers

fly tipped rubbish

Councils have called for action to tighten the law on fly-tipping and the ability to recoup more of the cost in tackling the blight.

The Local Government Association (LGA) has urged ministers to remove a “loophole” requiring enforcement officers to give some suspected fly-tippers seven days’ written warning before inspecting their premises and seizing evidence.

The LGA also reported a “significant rise” in rogue traders illegally dumping household goods such as fridges, mattresses and furniture after taking them from residents for cash.

Since May, local authorities have been able to issue on-the-spot fines of up to £400 for fly-tippers, and LGA environment spokesman Martin Tett called this a “big step in the right direction”.

But Tett said further enforcement powers were needed: “Councils need a faster and more effective legal system which means fly-tippers are given hard-hitting fines for more serious offences. Local authorities should also be able to recoup all prosecution costs rather than be left out of pocket.”

The LGA also argues that more of the costs of tackling littering and fly-tipping should be shared with product producers, such as mattress and chewing gum manufacturers.

The annual cost of clearing up fly-tipping in England has hit nearly £50m, with councils having to deal with almost 900,000 incidents.

Latest figures show the number of recorded incidents rose by almost 6% for 2014-15 compared with 2013-14, while the clear-up costs increased by 11%. Councils are carrying out more than half a million enforcement actions every year, costing local taxpayers almost £18m.

Commercial waste is the second largest waste type contributing to fly-tipping incidents in England, amounting to 9% of all incidents. There was an 18% increase in commercial waste incidents from 65,000 in 2013-14 to 77,000 in 2014-15.

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