Headlines: September 10th, 2010

More people are being prosecuted for illegally dumping rubbish but fly-tipping is still costing local authorities almost a million pounds a week. New figures show English authorities brought nearly 2,500 prosecutions last year, up by more than 20 percent on the number in 2008-09.

In addition to the prosecutions, 97 per cent of which were successful, councils issued 116,500 warning letters and more than 2,000 formal cautions to those suspected of illegally dumping waste. The figures from the Government show though that clearing fly-tipping cost councils 45.8 million last year.

The Environment Minister Lord Henley said he was encouraged by the efforts being made by local authorities but there was no room for complacency. “A total of nearly 947,000 incidents is unacceptable by any standards and fly-tipping is clearly still a significant problem,” he said and added: “We must all work together to stamp out this continuing blight on our neighbourhoods.”

Defra is to continue to work with the Environment Agency and with councils to prevent illegal dumping through a combination of education, prevention and enforcement. The new statistics, in fact, show the number of reported incidents of fly-tipping fell by 18.7 per cent in the last year but much of the drop was due to changes in the way figures are reported by a small number of local authorities.