Fly-tipping is a nationwide issue. It is the process of illegally depositing waste in public areas and private land belonging to others. Regardless of whether you dump a small plastic bag of waste or heaps of construction materials, fly tipping simply involves dumping waste of any kind from one place to another.
Many confuse this with littering, but they are different on the basis that litter involves illegally dropping waste, meanwhile fly tipping is defined as moving waste from one place to another. Despite being illegal, it continues to be a common practice, with many unaware of the dangers and risks it creates. Therefore, here’s a quick guide on the dangers of fly-tipping - a practice we want to put in the past.
For a start, fly-tipping is very costly for local authorities. In fact, the government predicted that large fly-tipping incidents set authorities back by a whopping £12.9 million in 2018/2019 for waste removal. Meanwhile, processes such as enforcement and investigation left this figure at roughly £57m every year.
These costs fall unduly on the councils and private landlords burdened with the waste, rather than the rightful owner and producer of the waste. With the number of incidences of fly-tipping said to be steadily increasing since 2013, the costs incurred are only set to rise in the future. Although it may seem that fly tipping doesn’t cost you anything, this money belongs to taxpayers and is cut out of local budgets rather than spent on more important ways to improve your local area.
Another danger created by fly tipping is a more physical one. By cluttering the streets with your waste by flytipping, you are leaving a health and safety hazard to others. Not only are some kinds of waste harmful to our health, such as asbestos, but fly tipping also encourages pests, such as rats, which can spread diseases such as Weils disease.
For animals in particular, litter is known to be incredibly dangerous, with the RSPCA reporting over 7,000 calls annually about animals injured by litter. Where lightweight waste has been dumped, this is often blown into nearby waters and ends up in the ocean, killing and seriously harming many marine creatures.
Flytipping can also put individuals at greater risk of injury, with people falling and tripping over the dumped waste, especially when it is offloaded onto public footpaths.
Aesthetically, fly tipping makes your local area far less attractive and destroys natural habitats. In fact, having fly tipping waste scattered around your local community is very likely to reduce the property prices and value within that area.
Not only this, but fly tipping also deters visitors and tourists from visiting your local area, all of which is important for a thriving local economy.
The environmental impact of fly tipping is perhaps the most significant of all. Much of the waste fly-tipped needs to be disposed of properly in order to protect the environment. However, despite holding chemicals which can leak into soil and contaminate the environment, items such as electricals and batteries continue to be left on the side of streets or in forests.
Since the most common culprits tend to look for a remote location to dump their waste, this is often nearby rivers or canals, all of which can pollute the waters we use and the habitat of other wildlife. The more frequently this occurs, the worse the impact on that local space.
Another reason to end fly tipping is that it is a criminal offence, with harsh penalties to suit. Fly tipped waste can often be traced back to the individual either by investigating the waste or due to eye-witness statements. Although the fine awarded to those that breach the law on fly-tipping depends on the severity of the fly-tipping, small and individual cases can still receive a fixed penalty notice from between £150 to £400. Meanwhile, the most serious fly tipping offences risk fines of up to £50,000 and potentially even a prison sentence of up to 5 years. Like all crimes, fly-tipping has a negative effect on the local environment and shows disregard to both the law and landowners and occupants.
In light of all of this, it can easily be seen how fly-tipping is a public evil and ought to be deemed that way. Due to its numerous negative effects, fly-tipping must end in order to protect society and the environment.