91  Litter and associated problems


Fly tipping costs the taxpayer 1m every week 

The cost of clearing up after fly tippers in the UK is nearly 1 million a week.  A batch of waste is illegally dumped every 35 seconds.  But new powers will mean those caught dumping waste will have to pay for the job themselves.   Figures published by Defra on Tuesday, Oct 18 show the true cost of tackling the tippers, but were released to coincide with the granting of new powers to those who have to deal with the mess.  Under the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act, local authorities and the Environment Agency can now recover these costs from the offenders - if they find them.   www.edie.net/news/news_story.asp?id=10669&channel=0


Symptomatic, perhaps, of a wider social malaise, litter represents a waste of resources, both of the materials themselves and of the labour needed to clean up the mess and to remedy the damage caused.

Part IV of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 created practical means for enforcing litter clearance standards and strengthened citizens rights. Local authorities, certain statutory undertakers, railway operators, large schools and national parks now all have a duty to keep roads and open land clear of litter. For land that the public uses, such as large business parks, car parks, shopping centres, camp sites, cinemas etc, the Act introduces Litter Control Areas, where there is a duty to keep the land free of litter to stipulated standards. Local authorities can require take-away food premises, service stations, sports venues, etc to keep the streets where they operate tidy, by providing bins and washing the street down.

The worst kind of litter is fly-tipping. Any commercial vehicle carrying waste should be registered to do so with the Environment Agency - see section 10. (Charities and local authority vehicles are exempt from registration). Where authorised officers from the Environment Agency have reasonable grounds to believe that waste is being carried, or has been fly-tipped, by an unregistered carrier, they can stop the vehicle, require production of the registration certificate and take samples of any waste for analysis. In certain circumstances, they may also seize the vehicles responsible for fly-tipping, sell them and use the money to pay the costs of cleaning up the mess.

If you see anyone in the act of fly-tipping, please write down the vehicle registration number if this is possible discreetly, and ring the emergency pollution hotline number - 0800 807060. Report fly-tipped waste on the highway to the waste collection unit at the district council concerned, who have a duty to clean it up - unless it contains hazardous waste, in which case, report it to the Environment Agency on 0645 333 111. If you wish to check the registration of any particular company, also ring the Agency - or visit. The registers are open to public inspection free of charge.

Dog fouling
A closely related problem is dog fouling. This is anti-social, not only in the obvious sense but from the disease toxocariasis, an occasional cause of blindness in children caused by ingesting encysted parasites which are capable of surviving long after deposits have weathered away. Controls may now be aided by new powers provided by the Dog Fouling Act 1996 which, like the litter legislation above, enables more effective action by local authorities.


Fly-tipping is illegal, unsociable and unnecessary - don't even think about it.

There is a charge for every load of waste you take to landfill
BUT the organisations in many sections of this directory may want to use your waste, 
or they could direct you to someone who does.  Just look through the headings for the kind of waste you have.

If you know someone who may be fly-tipping, PLEASE put them in touch 
with someone listed in
THE WASTEBOOK who can help them.



Organisers of public events can insist on the use of returnable deposit containers.

Also see

Cans and foil (54)
Glass containers (55)
Bins, containers and recycling aids (240)

Alphabetical list of organisations

Barr A G plc
Tel 01942 886688 Manchester /0141 554 1899 Glasgow Fax 01942 884103
Head Office, 1306 Gallowgate, GLASGOW, Scotland G31 4DS

Supplier of soft drinks nationwide in returnable glass bottles, but unable to do so through supermarkets. Brands include Irn-Bru, Tizer, Jusoda, Orangina, Vimto.  Consumer pays 20p returnable deposit.  Advertising campaign to promote reuse.  More information from Marketing Department: North Road, Atherton, Manchester M46 0BZ.

ITW Hi Cone

Tel 01344 860166 Fax 01344 861869
Cookham Road, BRACKNELL, Berks RG12 1RD

Purchases quantities of the plastic ties used for sets of canned drinks. The company is a major supplier of these items which as litter are a serious hazard for small animals and birds, occasionally causing strangulation. Will organise collection schemes in association with local authorities.

Network Recycling

Tel 0117 942 2271 Fax 0117 914 1270
Email  info@networkrecycling.co.uk  Website www.networkrecycling.co.uk
Trelawny House, Surrey Street, BRISTOL BS2 8PS

Provides waste collection and management arrangements for special events, including festivals, to reduce, re-use and recycle as much waste as possible, promoting recycling and waste reduction.  Works in association with the Community Recycling Network.  Developed Terminal Recycling, to run recycling projects in partnership with operators of airports, ferry terminals, bus, train and motorway service stations.  Hires out the 'Reclamator' - a touring solar-powered mini-MRF with conveyor belt waste separation, for special events.  Provides waste audits, analysis and consultancy to commercial organisations and local authorities.  Markets Bin Toppers which convert a standard wheeled bin into a recycling collection point.  Founded 1994.  (Updated Feb 2005)

Tidy Britain Group

Tel 01942 824620 Fax 01942 824778
Elizabeth House, The Pier, WIGAN, Lancs WN3 4EX

Independent national charity working to improve local environments. An integrated programme of research, monitoring, education, campaigning, awards and consultancy is directed at all sectors of society. Free promotional materials and educational packs. Manages 'Eco-Schools' scheme.