Revealed: Large scale fly-tipping incidents cost Havering Council more than £43,000 last year

Rubbish dumped in Little Gerpins Lane. Picture: Havering Council

Rubbish dumped in Little Gerpins Lane. Picture: Havering Council - Credit: Archant

The cost of fly-tippers dumping large amounts of illegal waste has increased by 92.7 per cent in Havering since 2011.

Analysis from the BBC of data submitted to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) revealed the number of large-scale fly-tipping incidents in the borough has more than doubled since 2012.

Each year councils collate the number, size and cost of illegal rubbish dumping in their areas.

Anything above the size of a lorry-load can be investigated by the Environment Agency, though the cost of clearance lies with the council.

According to the data, Havering has a yearly average of 70.75 large-scale fly-tipping incidents and spends an average of £23,317 each year on clearing the illegal waste.

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The council has spent £40,770 more on incidents in 2018/19 than it did in 2011/12 - which amounts to a 97.2pc increase.

In 2012/12, there were 16 major incidents, while last year this number increased to 125.

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Across the eight years from 2011 to 2019, large scale fly-tipping cost the borough a total of £186,540.

While the total number of fly-tipping incidents in England has hovered around the one million mark in recent years, incidents involving a lorry-load of waste or more have risen nationally by 117pc since 2012.

In Havering last year, there were 103 tipper lorry load incidents, with major incidents making up just 3.16pc of the total number of incidents.

Fly-tipping is a criminal offence punishable by a fine of up to £50,000 or 12 months imprisonment if convicted in a magistrates' court.

Police and environmental groups have suggested a shift towards large-scale industrial incidents is being driven by a surge in criminal gangs offering illegal waste clearing services.

Julia Mulligan, chairwoman of the National Rural Crime Network, said: "Failures to act against fly-tipping misunderstand the impact on communities and rural businesses.

"Not only does it make people feel less safe and blight our communities, but the financial cost of dealing with the waste is significant.

"Most importantly, though, it is generally thought larger scale fly-tipping stems from serious and organised criminals, and so failing to deal with those offenders adequately has knock-on consequences."

Havering's cabinet member for environment, Cllr Osman Dervish, said: "Havering remains in the top nine of London boroughs carrying out enforcement action against fly-tipping and as a result, has one of the lowest volumes of fly-tipping.

"In the last year we have carried out over 6,000 enforcement actions, including tackling unlicensed waste carriers with on-the-spot fines and issuing warnings to individuals and companies after tracing the dumped rubbish back to them.

"We work in partnership with the Environment Agency on investigations into larger fly-tips and an example of that during this time, saw a fly-tipper prosecuted and fined £1,500 for his actions.

"We won't tolerate the illegal dumping of waste and continue to encourage residents to report it to us and dispose of their rubbish legally and responsibly. "

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