On March 6, 2017, in APTRs, Fly-tipping, by PeterSilverman

Average Council only prosecutes 7 cases of fly-tipping per year

The Environment Agency now concern themselves with “more serious offences” than fly-tipping  carrying out 75% fewer large scale fly-tipping  prosecutions than a decade ago

They only initiated 26  prosecutions for large scale fly-tipping in 2015

Please find below links to sources of information on fly-tipping. Below each link I have cut and pasted the most pertinent points. My own comments and analysis are shown like this.

Fly-tipping statistics for England, 2015/16  – Dealt with by Local Authorities

Fly-tipping is the illegal deposit of waste on land, contrary to Section 33(1)(a) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. Local authorities and the Environment Agency both have a responsibility in respect of illegally deposited waste.

The Environment Agency is responsible for dealing with large-scale, serious and organised  illegal dumping incidents which pose an immediate threat to human health or the environment.

I believe the EA are not restricted to only dealing with cases where there is an immediate threat to human health or the environment. I have written to DEFRA for clarification

This statistical notice covers data reported by the local authorities in England

For the 2015/16 year, local authorities dealt with 936 thousand fly-tipping incidents

Local authorities carried out 494 thousand enforcement actions in 2015/16

There were just over two thousand prosecution actions taken in 2015/16

Most of the “enforcement actions” were “investigations” (315,000). There were only 2,135 prosecutions an average of 7 per local authority. This figure has been broadly constant since 2007/8

Details of the 125 incidents of large-scale illegal dumping dealt with by the Environment Agency in 2015/16 are reported separately and are available here.

This lead to a spreadsheet showing the number of incidents by waste type since 2011/12. There is no analysis of how they were dealt with and therefore no data on prosecutions.  

Fly-tipping stats 2006 -2015 – Dealt with by the Environment Agency

I therefore submitted an FOIA request to the EA on 20/01/17 asking for the number of fly-tipping incidents reported to them and the number of prosecutions subsequently made since 2006. The following  data was received on 06/04/2017 :

| Year | Events | Prosecutions |
| 2006 | 835 | 96 |
| 2007 | 723 | 80 |
| 2008 | 507 | 80 |
| 2009 | 796 | 47 |
| 2010 | 656 | 27 |
| 2011 | 423 | 35 |
| 2012 | 288 | 23 |
| 2013 | 269 | 40 |
| 2014 | 245 | 27 |
| 2015 | 156 | 26 |

Over the decade the number of events they dealt with fell from 835 to 156 and the number of prosecutions fell from 96 to 26. This is just 2 prosecutions per month across the whole country.

In explanation they stated that “if illegally dumped waste is more than 20 tonnes it is likely to be referred to the Environment Agency. Local authorities have taken on responsibility for enforcement of smaller ‘fly-tipping’ waste offences”.

This is the same criteria as was quoted in the 2005 protocol (see below) so why has there been such a dramatic decline?

In further explanation they stated that “In recent years the Environment Agency has concentrated its enforcement of illegal waste activity against more serious offences rather than the activity which is often regarded as fly-tipping”.

There you have it. They have decided to concentrate on other activities

Fly tipping incidents and actions taken (national level data) 2007/08 to 2015/16

This is the raw data on which the above document is based

Environment Agency action on illegally deposited waste 2011/12 to 2015/16

This is the data referred to above showing the number of incidents by waste type but nothing about prosecutions

Fly-tipping: council responsibilities DEFRA Guidance 2016

However, you need to contact the Environment Agency if the illegally dumped waste is:

  • more than 20 tonnes (about 20 cubic metres),
  • more than 5 cubic metres of fibrous asbestos or 75 litres of potentially hazardous waste in drums or containers
  • possibly linked to criminal business activity or organised crime

The Unauthorised Deposit of Waste (Fixed Penalties) Regulations 2016

Law and your environment – Fly-tipping

FLY-TIPPING AND ILLEGAL WASTE ACTIVITIES Protocol between Local Gov Assoc and the Env. Agency  January 2005

2.9 Local authorities will normally investigate and take appropriate enforcement action against: fly-tipping of quantities of waste up to and including a single tipper load of waste deposited at one time (i.e. up to approximately 20 cubic metres  in a single deposit)

3.7 The Agency will normally investigate and take appropriate enforcement action against  large-scale fly-tipping i.e. tipping of more than a lorry load (more than approximately
20 cubic metres)

National Fly-Tipping Prevention Group

Litter strategy ‘a missed opportunity’ to tackle fly-tipping on farms


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