Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of MRW, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Industry tackles rural fly-tipping

Photo2 fly tipping essex nov 16

A third of rural landowners and businesses have reported fly-tipping on their land in the past three years, but ignorance of the duty of care law contributes to the crime, according to the ’Right Waste, Right Place’ (RWRP) campaign.

Many of the 500 respondents to a RWRP telephone survey believed they were compliant with duty of care requirements, whereas its previous research found that only half were likely to be so.

This lack of understanding is said to be directly contributing to waste being illegally dumped in rural areas.

As well as fly-tipping, farmers and landowners can also be the victim of illegal waste operators using their land to store waste which is subsequently abandoned, leaving them with costly clean-up bills. This is estimated by landowners’ membership body the CLA to total £100m-£150m annually.

RWRP, established by the Environment Agency (EA), Natural Resources Wales, the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM) and the Environmental Services Association (ESA) Education Trust, has launched tailored material aimed at increasing awareness among agriculture and land management businesses.

Sam Corp, ESA head of regulation, said the survey showed the consequences of agricultural businesses not doing the right thing with their waste.

“It is clear that, despite their vulnerability, many businesses are running the risk of inadvertently contributing to waste crime by believing they are complying with the legislation when the evidence is there that they are not. We believe this is a particular issue where the waste is handed from one party to another.”

Dr Colin Church, CIWM chief executive, said: “Being efficient yet diligent in the way waste is dealt with can lead to savings, environmental benefits and opportunities to diversify. The key is to fully understand the legislation and it appears that many do not.”

Nicky Cunningham, deputy director of waste regulation at the EA, said: “It is crucial that all businesses understand their duty of care responsibilities for the waste they produce. Too often, when these responsibilities are misunderstood or ignored, we see the impact of waste crime where waste is deliberately dumped on land with no permit.”

Writing for MRW, Ricardo principal consultant Victoria Hutchin said local authority charges at household waste recycling centres (HWRCs) were not necessarily to blame for the rise in fly-tipping.

”Time will tell whether such charges have had an effect on residents’ behaviour and their use of HWRCs,” she said.

”However, there are many other factors which are likely to have contributed to the ongoing rise in the number of fly-tipping incidents including difficult business trading times; increased cost of legitimate waste disposal; crackdown by local authorities on illegal trade waste disposal; and blocking of cross-boundary use of HWRCs.”

Readers' comments (4)

  • It is unfortunate that this seems to be more about pointing the finger of illegal activity at the landowner than the illegal operators dumping the waste and the lack of an effective tracking and enforcement system.
    Landowners are innocent victims caught up in an epidemic that is not of their making. The reason that waste is being flytipped on this scale is that it is too easy to make a lot of money very quickly. Industrial scale fly-tipping is now costing the public purse millions as those that cause or have to deal with the problem will often go bust - one only has to look at Bromley. And yet we have a valve-driven archaic waste tracking system that consists of quarterly returns from 11,000 EPR regulated facilities that rely on human scrutiny by an Agency that is woefully under-resourced. Bromley alone cost the tax-payer £2.4m. Isn't it time the EA invested in an effective waste reporting and tracking system? And isn't it time that waste producers were held to account and had to get reports from waste collectors as to where their waste went? Better Regulation is fine, but it should not mean less regulation. So my advice would be to stop blaming the innocent victims and actually do something to tighten our system.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • What a load of drivel is being written about this issue. Most newspaper columnist are blaming the problem on the introduction of charges at HWRCs. RUBBISH! Simply look at the waste that is shown in nearly every photograph, it has been processed to some degree, ie. it has been through a waste plant. This is fraud on a massive scale and some "waste operators" are clearly to blame.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • As the end of the article indicates, we also have a considered article from Victoria Hutchin doubting that HWRCS charges are the key driver. There are several elements at play and there is a big debate about (ir)responsibility throughout the 'waste' process.

  • In my comment, I referred to "newspaper columnists" I was not referring to the MRW author. Sorry that you took it personally. I deliberately avoided any reference to MRW as I was pleased to see the comment by Victoria.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Thanks for the clarification - but we weren't complaining. We are happy to engage in the debate about fly-tipping which is slowly but surely creeping up the political agenda.

  • I agree with Andrew to be honest. Waste operators are to blame clearly

    Follow my twitter Waste_solve

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.