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Why we need to be aware of the UK’s fly-tipping problem

Fly-tipping incidents in the UK increased 16% in 2020/21 rising to 1.13million last year compared to 980,000 the year before, according to information published by the government.

Of the fly-tipping incidents recorded by councils in England, just under two thirds (65%) involved household waste.

Just over a third (34%) involved small van loads and just more than a quarter (26%) involved less than a car boot load.

However despite the rise in cases of recorded fly-tipping, enforcement actions and penalties for fly-tipping decreased over the same period.

Between 2020/21, 456,000 enforcement actions were handed down for fly-tipping and illegal waste dumps, a decline of 4% the year before.

The number of fixed penalty notices decreased by nearly a quarter from 75,400 to 57,600.

And the number of court fines decreased by more than half (51%) from 2,672 to 1,313.


Why is the problem getting worse?

There’s no question that COVID-19 has had an impact on the ability of councils to collect bulky waste (these figures include the first months of the initial lockdowns).

Many councils struggled to maintain regular collections of recyclable waste, and many more suspected collections of bulky waste due to a lack of staff.

This has continued and a large number of councils in England are struggling to fulfil bulky waste collections due to a lack of drivers and vehicles.

In turn this has created an opportunity for rogue rubbish collectors to move in.

And they’re costing households hundreds in fake collections, with much of the waste simply dumped.


Why does it matter to households?

Many households don’t know it, but if your rubbish is found to have been dumped illegally, you’re still responsible for it - and you’ll be fined if you have no proof that you paid for it to be disposed of properly.

These fines can reach thousands of pounds, so it’s important you understand the risks involved with dumping waste or not doing your research before hiring someone to take it away for you.


How to spot a rogue waste collector.

Rogue waste collectors often advertise in local press or directly to households through letter box drops.

While it can be difficult to judge whether an advert is legitimate, there are often a few things you can look out for.

For example, fake adverts usually don’t include a company name, company registration number of other identifying information like a company website, email address, fixed address or landline.

It will often just be a mobile phone number.

Fake collectors also entice people to use their ‘service’ by offering delivery prices greatly below market value.

One easy way to avoid this is to collect a number of quotes for your waste removal, and if one is significantly lower than the rest, be wary and do some additional research before signing up.

On the day of collection, you should check the van that comes to collect your rubbish.

If it’s plain with no signage or company details, you should be wary about letting them take your rubbish away as these plain vehicles are often used by rogue collectors.

Payment type is another way to judge the legitimacy of a collection.

Anyone who will only accept cash on collection and fails to offer you a receipt is likely a fake waste collection, so should be avoided.


Booking a legitimate waste collection service in London

With councils across London and the South East still struggling to maintain bulky waste collections, it’s important you do your research before booking a private waste removal service.

Failing to do this research could result in hefty fines.

If you do need a reliable waste removal service in London, get in touch with us at LITTA.

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