Government figures show Mansfield and Ashfield being hit by up to six fly-tipping incidents every day

Fly tipping incidents have increased in the last year. Photo: PA/Chris Radburn
Fly tipping incidents have increased in the last year. Photo: PA/Chris Radburn

New figures from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) show there are six fly-tipping incidents every day on average in Mansfield in Ashfield – four in Mansfield and two in Ashfield.

The DEFRA data has revealed the scale of the issue facing councils across the country, with almost one million incidents recorded in England in 2017-18.

In Mansfield, there were 1,516 fly-tipping incidents in the 12 months to March, an increase of 59 per cent from five years ago, when there were 955.

In Ashfield, there were 892 incidents, up from 477 five years ago, an increase of 87 per cent.

Across England, fly-tipping increased by 40 per cent over the same period.

Tipping incidents in Mansfield and Ashfield most commonly involved volumes of waste that were the equivalent of a small van load.

However, the area is also seeing increasing numbers of large-scale tips, involving a lorry load of rubbish or more.

The Local Government Association, which represents local authorities, said councils were determined to ‘end the scourge of fly-tipping’.

Coun Martin Tett, environment spokesman for the Local Government Authority, said: “This new analysis shows the scale of the fly-tipping epidemic we face in this country.

“Fly-tipping is unsightly and unacceptable environmental vandalism.

“It’s an absolute disgrace for anyone to think that they can use the environments in which our residents live as a repository for litter.”

The most common type of waste dumped in Mansfield and Ashfield was household waste, which accounted for 1,114 incidents, followed by black bags of household rubbish and white goods such as fridges or washing machines.

The majority of fly-tipping sites in Mansfield were on roads, while in Ashfield, footpaths and bridleways were the favoured dumping grounds.

Clearing up the rubbish and taking action against perpetrators is estimated to have cost Mansfield and Ashfield council’s a combined bill of around £172,000 last year.

Councils can take a range of actions against fly-tipping, from sending warning letters to launching prosecutions.

Last year the council took action on 1,294 occasions, up from 1,076 in 2012-13.

These included launching 721 investigations, sending out four warning letters, issuing nine penalty notices, and undertaking 518 inspections.

It also carried out eight prosecutions, which resulted in fines worth £3,767.

In Ashfield, the number of actions taken against perpetrators fell from to 134 last year, having been at 230 in 2012-13.

These included launching 79 investigations, sending out 38 warning letters, issuing two penalty notices, and undertaking five inspections.

The council also carried out three prosecutions, though this was a decrease from five years ago when there were six.

Of these prosecutions, one resulted in a fine of £400 and two in community service.

Coun Tett continued: “Councils are determined to protect local environments.

“New fixed penalty notice powers from the Government will help but every single conviction for more serious fly-tipping offences still results in council taxpayers having to pick up the bill.

“We need to make sure that when councils take offenders to court, a faster, more effective legal system ensures that serious fly-tipping offences result in hard-hitting fines.”

Last year, overall fly-tipping incidents in England fell slightly by around one per cent – the first fall for five years.

However, large-scale tips increased by nine per cent over the same period.

Since 2012-13, the number of actions taken by councils has risen by 16 per cent.

A spokesman for Defra said: “The figures show our tough actions to crack down on fly-tippers are delivering results.

“Councils are using powers to hand out on-the-spot fines to fly-tippers to good effect, and we have made it easier for vehicles suspected of being used for fly-tipping to be stopped, searched and seized.

“New fixed penalty notices for householders who pass their waste to a fly-tipper also come into force shortly, as we continue our efforts to crack down on those who blight our landscapes.”