The Hazards Caused by Fly Tipping (And How You Can Help Stop It)
According to the government, there were over 1 million fly-tipping incidents in 2022. It’s a similar figure each year and it’s a nuisance for so many reasons, not to mention the cost of having the waste cleared.
While most law-abiding citizens in the UK will live their lives without ever feeling the need to carry out such an act, there clearly needs to be some education about the hazards caused by fly-tipping.
This month at SCS Waste, we’ll be looking at what fly-tipping is and what damage it does, in the hope that – aside from the fines and threat of prison – this will deter more people from such an act.
What is fly-tipping?
Fly tipping refers to the illegal dumping of waste, whether from homes or businesses, in areas that are not licensed to accept it. The location can be anywhere from pavements in the street to private land, while the waste tends to be old furniture, rubble and hardcore, appliances, electrical goods, tyres and even more hazardous substances such as asbestos.
You can find out more about who is responsible for clearing fly tipping in our previous post, here.
It is, ultimately, a thoughtless and selfish act, because of the many various ways in which it can impact us all negatively (more on that next), but it is also unnecessary in a modern society where there are proper means for disposing of waste.
Why is fly-tipping bad?
Fly tipping isn’t just something that makes an area look messy or unclean, there are far more dangerous side effects that occur when any area has a mound of waste carelessly dumped onto it. Take a look at just some of the ways in which fly tipping creates hazards:
- Pests – It should be obvious that the attraction of pests is one of the biggest risks. Even without chemicals involved, fly-tipping offers pests such as rodents the chance to forage for food, gather nesting materials, or even make their nest within the area. Pests bring disease and disruption with them, creating a real problem for anyone living or working nearby.
- Soil contamination – Dumping waste on grass, soil or any natural land will eventually contaminate the soil. This creates a number of issues, since local flora and fauna might rely on the area as part of their habitat. Erosion and poisoning of these natural habitats only compound the rate at which the UK is depleting its nature.
- Watercourse contamination – Chemicals and oils not only impact the ground, but if they leach into the local watercourse, they can contaminate it. Again, this impacts natural wildlife in the area, but could lead to larger issues for our own water supply if widespread.
- River/stream blockages – Since fly tippers tend to go for quiet spots, rivers, streams and brooks are often targets, but this waste can block the natural flow when it collects at drain or tunnel entry points. This can be hazardous for both local wildlife and anyone who lives in the area, especially if we see sudden, heavy rainfall.
- Trip/collision hazards – If waste has been dumped by the roadside or along a pavement, it can present a significant danger for drivers and pedestrians alike, resulting in serious injury, especially if sharp or hazardous waste is involved.
How to avoid fly-tipping
While the number of fly-tipping incidents involving household waste did fall last year from 65% to 61%, that’s clearly still a lot of people tempted by fly-tipping as a means for disposing of their waste from clearances and DIY work.
You can help to avoid fly-tipping by always using dedicated waste services, such as skip hire, to legally and quickly get rid of any household or commercial waste.
Another alternative is to engage with your local authority site to see whether they can take the type of waste you have, but with affordable and friendly services available from our team at SCS Waste, we’ll save you time and effort.
Where should you report fly-tipping?
If you know someone is fly-tipping or if you see someone fly-tipping, the best thing you can do is report it. You can do this to your local council or to Crimestoppers, providing any details that you can. This gives them a chance to catch the culprits and hopefully put a stop to their fly-tipping days.
We never recommend you intervene when you spot someone fly-tipping, as this puts you in danger – simply take any notes you can and report the crime.
Don’t put yourself, the environment or anyone else at risk with your waste — book skip hire in Arundel, Littlehampton, Bognor Regis and the surrounding areas with us at SCS Waste.