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Fly-Tipping in Essex: The recent rise of incidents

For the third year in a row, cases of national fly-tipping have increased significantly, with the BBC News stating that a case of fly-tipping is reported 107 times every hour. According to DEFRA, councils across England have reported 936,090 cases of fly-tipping in the year of 2015-2016, costing a rough total of £49.8 million a year to clear up.

Essex has faced particular problems with fly-tipping, to the point where rubbish has frequently been found blocking roads and scattered across farmers’ fields on an industrial scale. Cases have also been reported across Harlow of citizens dumping their waste on footpaths, roads, and communal stairwells.

Earlier this year, a cleaning company in Epping was fined a hefty sum of £5,000 after being found guilty of fly-tipping. It was thought that the error was made when the company had given the waste to a ‘man with a van’ scheme without checking if they had a waste disposal licence. Business owners are now being encouraged to review the credentials of any independent waste removal companies to prevent their waste being illegally dumped and facing the consequences.

Councils deal with fly-tipping by responding to reports, visiting the location to collect evidence, and pursuing lines of enquiry. If discovered, those responsible will be prosecuted and fined or imprisoned. Though even when prosecuted, some of the accused are neglecting to address the consequences of their actions; one case reported in Harlow of prosecuted fly-tippers failing to pay their fines, which totalled over £1,300.

Why do people fly-tip?

Several reasons have been put forward to try and make sense of why people engage in fly-tipping.

  • Avoiding financial responsibilities, such as waste disposal costs and landfill tax, is thought to be the main reason. Sums are usually calculated by taking into account the weight and type of the material, which may explain why it’s often bulkier materials that are abandoned.
  • It is thought that the recent changes to rules at Essex recycling centres may have worsened the problem, with many centres no longer accepting DIY waste such as soil, dismantled kitchens/bathrooms, doors, windows, ceramics, and plasterboard, and many no longer admitting certain vehicles onto the premises. Some Essex centres will accept these materials, but be imposing new restrictions on the amount that can be disposed of. To find out more about this, read our full article: Changes to Essex recycling centres.

Problems caused by fly-tipping

  • Blockage: There have been occasions of dumped rubbish blocking roads, pathways, and preventing people from accessing buildings. This inconveniences local people, but can also hinder the emergency services who are attending urgent calls.
  • Asbestos/hazardous waste: There have been occasions when fly-tipped waste has contained highly dangerous substances, such as asbestos, toxic waste and hazardous chemicals; these all have the potential to be harmful to humans, water sources, soil health, and the welfare of wildlife.
  • Council costs: Clearing away illegally deposited rubbish is a costly business, resulting in millions of extra pounds of taxpayers’ money being redirected to cover these expenses. By this logic, fly-tipping does not save the instigators any money, as their own Council tax rates will be covering these increased costs.
  • Environmental damage: Certain dumped materials, such as plastic bags, are not easily degradable due to their inorganic composition, resulting in slow decomposition. Fly-tipped waste can also attract wildlife that bring diseases with them.

What’s the solution?  

Skip hire is an excellent waste management solution for both homeowners and business managers alike, and companies such as David Brown Skip Hire can help with this.

Benefits include:

  • Containing your waste in one place
  • Convenience of being located on or close to your premises
  • Easy deposition and collection of the vessel by the skip hire company
  • Skip permits organised on your behalf
  • Range of skip sizes available

Don’t fall foul to fly-tipping: take advantage of the simple resolution of skip hire by contacting the team at David Brown today. Serving a wide area of Essex and Hertfordshire, the specialists at David Brown can provide a local, reliable service of both domestic and commercial skips for any customer. We aim to make rental as simple as possible, managing a range of waste types and using our 30 years of experience to deliver an expert service. Get in touch today to talk to one of our friendly advisers or to book your skip.

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