Is Fly-Tipping as Bad as We Think?
Ever driven through your local town and despaired at the amount of rubbish scattered at the side of the road or thrown into bushes or local parks? Then you know the horror of fly-tipping. And yet it continues to happen, even though we all know it’s a horrible practice, not to mention bad for the environment.
But what are the consequences of fly-tipping? Well, in the UK the financial repercussions can be pretty hefty for those found guilty of this absurd practice. It’s actually viewed as a pretty serious crime in the UK and carries a heavy fine of £50,000 for anyone caught doing it. And there can also be a prison sentence of up to twelve months, so it’s definitely not something to be trifled with. These punishments are only what happens if someone is prosecuted by Magistrates’ Court.
If someone is convicted via the Crown Court, which can and does happen, the fines can be unlimited, and the person on trial could face a prison sentence of five years.
Unfortunately few fly-tipping operations actually get caught and even fewer faces these high levels of punishment. This means that the disgusting practice continues, even though it is illegal and very bad for the planet.
The difficulty is that finding fly-tippers is not often very easy, and there is a huge debate about how to tackle the problem. Some argue that raising the fines and prosecuting more people would help curb the trend. However, this costs local councils and justice systems a lot of money. Money that could arguably be better spent on other services and criminal activity prevention.
However, even on the other side of the argument, it still costs councils to fix the effects of fly-tipping. In Walsall, for example, they had to spend an estimated £426,000 on sorting out fly-tipping in the area. And because they were unable to prosecute most of the offenders, they couldn’t even get the money back.
Plus this is definitely not the only expenses that fly-tipping incurs. Because even if the offenders are not found, time, money and effort are spent in attempting to track them down. This means money spent on investigations, lawyers, and then also the fees paid to rubbish removal services who fix the illegally dumped waste.
On top of this is the bigger issue of the impact it has on the local area. And this is where a lot of people have the biggest concerns. Frank Rubbish Removal conducted a survey about fly-tipping, and 86% of people reported that they hate seeing illegally dumped waste in their town, complaining that it makes it look unattractive. Some people even said that where lots of waste was dumped, it made the area look ‘slum-like’ which is a pretty damning statement.
According to Frank Rubbish Removal, most people (78%) said that they would like to see their local councils do more to prevent and tackle fly-tipping in their area. Some even said that they would be willing to pay more council tax to help make this happen. And over half agreed that they would be willing to pay for private rubbish removal services if it meant that less fly-tipping occurred in their town.
Unfortunately, as with many issues, fly-tipping won’t be something that is solved overnight. It will take the efforts of councils, local people being on the lookout for offenders, and more power to punish those who do it, to have any real impact. But the more we can do to tackle the problem, the better it will be for our planet, homes and towns.