The number of fly-tipping incidents recorded in the UK has reached the highest level since 2010, latest Defra figures show.
Some 936,000 incidents took place in 2015-16, up from 900,000 the previous year and the third consecutive annual increase.
This is lower, however, than the first three sets of annual figures which included a total of 1,284,000 in 2008.
Some 1,838 fines were issued, up from 1,492 the previous year, while 494,000 enforcement actions were undertaken, slightly less than the previous year.
Clearance costs dropped slightly from £50.5m in 2014-15 to £49.8m in 2015-16. The number of fixed penalty notices issued dropped to 36,000 from 38,000 the previous year.
Managing director of Hampshire recycling firm Hippo, Gareth Lloyd-Jones, said the new statistics showed fly-tipping was still a major issue.
Writing for MRW, he said: “Defra’s new report backs up what industry experts have been saying for some time. In the 15 years that Hippo has been removing the nation’s waste, we’ve seen a significant spike in fly-tipping.”
Many councils, including Hampshire, have introduced charges for DIY waste at their recycling centres in the past year and it remains to be seen whether this will further affect Defra’s figures.
Lloyd-Jones added: “We recently advised that people would be at risk of breaking the law and incurring large fines as a result of these waste disposal changes.”
He said action was needed on residents who were fly-tipping materials that were not charged for disposal.
“It seems that people are prioritising convenience over what’s right. By fly-tipping these goods, they are not only breaking the law and at risk of hefty fines, but they are also damaging our environment.”
Last May, councils were given the power to hand fly-tipping perpetrators on-the-spot penalties of up to £400. This took effect after the latest figures.