Littering on the UK road system can be unsightly and unhygienic, whether it’s a dropped newspaper or a discarded sandwich wrapper. But when littering tips over into illegal dumping, more problems arise for local residents and businesses. Illegal dumping, also called fly tipping, is typically distinguished from littering by the type and amount of material, as well as the manner in which it is discarded. An example of littering could be throwing a cigarette on the ground. In contrast, emptying a rubbish bin with no permission in a public or private area can be classified as fly tipping. In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at our fly tipping clearance service – and why it’s so important.
Why fly tipping needs to be taken care of
Illegal dumping of waste fails to use an authorised method, such as kerbside collection or using a council-run waste facility. It is the illegal deposit of any waste onto land, including waste dumped or tipped on a site with no license to accept waste. Typical materials dumped include building materials from construction sites (such as drywall, roofing shingles, lumber, brick, concrete, and siding), car parts, household appliances, household waste, furniture, and medical waste.
The effects of fly tipping include health, environmental, and economic consequences. While legal waste disposal locations, such as landfills, are designed to contain waste and prevent its by-products from affecting the surrounding environment, illegal dumping areas do not typically incorporate the same safeguards. Toxins or hazardous materials can infiltrate soil and drinking water and threaten the health of local residents, with both short- and long-term health conditions.
Illegal dumps pose a physical threat. Unstable piles of material and exposed nails threaten harm to humans, specifically children who may be attracted to illegal dumps as play areas. They also attract vermin and insects. Outbreaks of fire at illegal dump sites can lead to forest fires, causing erosion and destroying habitat. Fly tipping also negatively affects surrounding property values. Unattractive and odorous accumulations of waste discourage commercial and residential developers from improving communities. Indeed, existing residents may have difficulty taking pride in their neighbourhoods.
The UK context for fly tipping
Rubbish disposal in the UK is heavily regulated, with most households having on average one 240-litre bin for recyclable waste and one similar bin of non-recyclable waste. It is estimated that 290 million tonnes of waste were produced in the UK in 2008, although volumes are declining. The National Waste Strategy is a policy of the government intended to foster a move to sustainability in waste management.
Even so, many local councils have reduced the frequency of rubbish collection in recent years. Moreover, in an attempt to drive people to recycle and save space in landfill, local councils sometimes refuse to empty bins which are improperly sorted. Large waste such as old furniture and mattresses may need to be taken to a local waste depot by the home-owner at their own expense, although many councils will collect certain items for free or a small fee. In addition, commercial or industrial users may incur waste handling charges, with taxes applied to landfill.
As the cost of disposing of rubbish and waste increases, so does the number of individuals and businesses that fly-tip. The fine or punishment is normally defined by the local council that operates in the local area in which the rubbish was dumped. According to the BBC, fly-tipping cost councils in England and Wales more than £50m annually in 2016. As the problem has grown, the UK government has made it easier for members of the public to report fly-tipping. The Environmental Protection Agency now spends £100–150 million annually to investigate and clean up illegal fly tipping sites.
How React approaches the problem
Most critically, waste attracts more waste. Therefore, cleaning up existing illegal dumping sites is a helpful deterrent for additional dumping. That’s where the React fly tipping clearance service comes into its own. The correct collection and disposal of waste is essential to protecting the public and the environment from health and safety risks. This includes hazardous and biological material that may have come into contact with or been infected by microbiological and pathological waste.
We provide a nationwide fly tipping clearance service, and we’re available around the clock. Our team are well trained, medically fit, properly equipped, and fully inoculated. We operate to industry-leading standards eg BS-EN-ISO 9001:2018 and ISO14001 for Environmental Management. We can also provide comprehensive decontamination services to address any issues in the areas affected by illegal disposal of hazardous materials. We’ll clear fly tipping sites quickly and effectively, tipping the balance back so that residents can have clean and safe public spaces in their localities.
For more details on some of the more bizarre excuses for fly tipping, see the BBC news segment: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-36931848/it-fell-off-the-back-of-the-van-fly-tipping-excuses
Contact one of the team today to find out more about our fly tipping clearance service, a part of our range of specialist roadside cleaning services.
Post by Shaun D. Doak
Shaun is the Managing Director of React Specialist Cleaning. He is deeply committed to making sure that every one of our company’s clients receives the highest possible level of service. An expert in HVAC and commercial and industrial cleaning methodologies, Shaun has extensive experience in the facilities management and renewable services sectors.