Fly-tipping — [Mr George Howarth in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 9:30 am on 17th April 2018.

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Photo of Neil Parish Neil Parish Chair, Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee, Chair, Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee 9:30 am, 17th April 2018

I beg to move,

That this House
has considered the matter of reducing fly-tipping.

It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Howarth. I thank everyone who responded to the House of Commons post on fly-tipping and the Commons staff who have offered their time and support for this important debate.

Fly-tipping is bad for the environment and bad for public health. It is not a victimless crime, and it has been on the increase since 2012. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs estimates that the clean-up operation alone cost the taxpayer some £58 million last year. Local authorities cleaned up more than 1 million fly-tips last year—a 7% increase on the year before. Private landowners and farmers are seriously affected, too. Nearly two thirds of landowners have been affected by fly-tipping, including farmers and charities such as the National Trust, which experienced 232 fly-tips last year alone.

It is not fair that private landowners are held responsible for somebody else’s crime and have to clean up. Several landowners got in touch with us to emphasise that, and I am sure Members here this morning had lots of people contacting them. Waste is tipped in small quantities or sometimes on an industrial scale, with lorry loads, and it is the responsibility of the farmer and the landowner to clean it up. It then becomes their waste, and that is the problem. The National Trust has found that cleaning up fly-tipping forces it to divert money from projects aimed at protecting and enhancing the environment on its land. On average, it costs landowners more than £800 to clear up an individual fly-tip, and in some cases—if a huge lorry load has been dumped in the countryside—it costs much more.