Growing illegal dumping problem costs £20 million to clear up

Sebastian Ballard [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons-1.jpg

Photo: Sebastian Ballard ┃CC BY-SA 2.0

Clearing up illegally dumped rubbish cost taxpayers in London nearly £20 million in the last financial year.   8 of the 10 councils in the country with the biggest problem for fly-tipping are in London, and the problem is getting worse with a 12% increase in dumping incidents in the past 12 months.

Newham has the biggest problem in the country, as it did in the previous year, with more than 70,000 incidents recorded. Enfield had more than 50,000, a 57% increase on 2013/14. In comparison there were fewer than 1,000 recorded incidents in Kingston.

The clear up costs in Newham alone came to £3.34 million. Haringey and Enfield are both paying in excess of £2 million and Croydon and Southwark paid more than a million.

Fly-tipping in London
Number of incidents Clear-up costs
Newham 70,192 £3,339,219
Enfield 50,121 £2,015,058
Haringey 25,709 £2,193,945
Southwark 25,583 £1,063,934
Croydon 18,560 £1,568,123

Newham says that the large number of incidents may be down to better reporting thanks to 7-day a week street cleaning and improved technology for recording incidents.

Two thirds of the incidents in Newham involved fly-tipping on roadsides. Among the things dumped were 1,200 so-called white goods, such as fridges and washing machines.

Enfield recorded 1,322 incidents of fly-tipping on railway lines. It is a problem peculiar to the area as next nearest council with such incidents was Lewisham with just 7.

Clearing up in Haringey and Croydon costs double that of the other boroughs with the most substantial problems. The cost per incident in Croydon was £84.48 while in Newham and Enfield it is around half that. Haringey and Southwark recorded a very similar number of incidents but the clear up costs in Haringey are double those of Southwark.

The data gathered from the councils show that Enfield prosecuted 249 people for fly-tipping, more than any other London council. Newham took action in more than 8,000 cases, half of which involved a warning letter. It issued more than 2,000 fixed penalty notices fines and in a statement said that it had prosecuted 318 people for fly-tipping and littering, but no prosecutions for fly-tipping are recorded in the data from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Source data

See also

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Fly-tipping hits 5 year high with Newham suffering the biggest problem

Photo: Arsons Dens ┃Wikimedia Commons

There has been a huge increase across London in fly-tipping, the illegal dumping of rubbish, in the past 12 months. Data from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs shows a 41% increase in incidents in 2013/14, up to 327,000 from 232,000 in the previous 12 months.

Incidents had been decreasing for the past 5 years, but are now back to a similar level as 2009/10.

The borough with the worst problem in London, and in England, is Newham. The East London borough recorded 67,900 incidents last year, up from 28,400. Newham accounts for more than 20% of all the incidents in London.

The council spent around £3 million cleaning up the problem and has launched an app to make it easier for people to record and report incidents.

Fly tipping

Newham records twice the number of incidents of any other borough. Both Haringey and Enfield have more than 31,000 incidents. But 9 London boroughs, including Newham’s neighbour Barking and Dagenham, have fewer than 2,000. The cleanest streets are in Kingston with just 339 recorded incidents.

Fly-tipping is a criminal offence and councils have a number of sanctions open to them from warning letters to prosecutions. The most common action is a fixed penalty notice, which means a fine of £50. Newham issued 7,000 such notices last year, but did not prosecute anyone.

Enfield, with the second highest number of incidents, issued more than 3,000 fixed penalty fines and prosecuted 415 people.

Source data

See also

London is rubbish at recycling and many boroughs are getting worse

Most boroughs fail on legal limit for toxic gas that could harm health