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Fly-tipping rise sparks producer responsibility call

Councils have responded to a rise in fly-tipping with a call for more producer responsibility for waste.

Latest figures show councils dealt with 936,000 fly-tipping incidents in 2015-16, a six-year high and the third consecutive annual increase.

The Local Government Association (LGA) said the £50m spent by councils clearing up such waste each year would be better spent on frontline services.

Environment spokesperson Judith Blake said the ability to apply fixed penalty notices, introduced last year, was a “step in the right direction”.

But she added: “There are a number of additional changes that would help to tackle littering and fly-tipping, including sharing more of the responsibility with product producers.

“This includes manufacturers providing more take-back services so people can hand in old furniture and mattresses when they buy new ones.”

Blake said the amount councils spent on fly-tipping needed to reduce when their social care services faced a funding gap of at least £2.6bn by 2020 and their overall funding shortfall was predicted to reach £5.8bn within three years.

Meanwhile, Keep Britain Tidy chief executive Allison Ogden-Newton said the latest statistics were “shocking but not surprising”.

“Local authorities are fighting a daily battle with criminal fly-tippers who are making money by treating our country like a rubbish dump,” she said.

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