Big fall in fly-tipping incidents for third year in row

Published Tuesday 12 April 2022

Fly-tipping has significantly reduced across Harborough district for the third year in a row, the Council has announced.

Harborough District Council has seen one of its largest ever yearly reductions in incidents of fly-tipping, continuing a three-year successive reduction, and bucking the national trend.

From April 2021 to April 2022, there were 322 fly-tips in the Harborough district, down from 469 the previous year (2020/21) – a reduction of nearly a third (31%).

Fly-tipping is the illegal dumping of waste; it can be dangerous to human and animal health, and can pollute land or waterways. It is also expensive to clear.

Tip Off team on patrol

According to information released by DEFRA, this week, local authorities have dealt with 1.13million fly-tipping incidents in 2020/21, up by 16% from 2019/20.

But locally, Harborough District Council’s Tip Off campaign, which last year won a National Recycling Award, continues to buck the national trend. Tip Off encourages residents to report incidents through the Council’s website or by email, with public reports about fly-tipping increasing this year by 124 per cent.

Since Tip Off launched in 2018/19, the Council, with support from the public, has helped reduce fly tipping by 59 per cent across the Harborough district. This has been helped by close working with police, parish councils, National Farmers’ Union, and the Environment Agency.

Cllr Jonathan Bateman, Harborough District Council's Cabinet lead for environment and waste, said: "What a result this is! To achieve a reduction for the third year in a row is amazing, but to reduce fly-tipping by such a huge amount is astounding. Huge credit to the tenacity of our enviro-crime team, and waste contractor FCC Environment, who all work closely with our Communications team to spread the message that fly-tipping will not be tolerated in Harborough district. I’d like to thank residents who continue to be the eyes and ears of the community in providing information to help with our investigations. We all need to remain vigilant, particularly by always checking that anyone removing rubbish from your property is licensed to do so."

Residents and businesses are legally responsible for any household waste produced on their property. They have a 'duty of care' to check that any person or business disposing of their waste carries a valid waste carrier's licence.

This has been a key message which the Council has promoted through radio adverts and on social media, with any fines issued to fly-tippers publicised. The Council is also using covert CCTV in fly-tipping hotspots, in-car cameras, daily patrols, and warning banners on the side of its refuse collection vehicles.

All fixed penalty notices have been publicised, and any court prosecutions have seen culprits named and shamed through radio and local press. There has been 268 enforcement actions this year – including fixed penalty notices and warning letters to those suspected of fly-tipping – compared to 190 last year, and 169 the year before that.

Checks are also made whether businesses have the appropriate paperwork in place to dispose of the waste they generate, however – during the Covid pandemic – the emphasis was on education rather than enforcement.

For further advice about Tip Off visit  

Pictured: (l-r) John Kemp from HDC, Dan Edgerton from FCC, Cllr Jonathan Bateman, Jordan Smith and Diane Peacock from HDC