£1m fund to help more councils combat fly-tipping

Grants awarded across 26 local authorities to target fly-tipping hotspots

26 councils will receive a share of an almost £1 million boost to step up their battle against fly tipping and better protect communities, Recycling Minister Robbie Moore announced today (18 May 2024).

The grants will support various schemes to take the fight to waste criminals – such as an increase in CCTV cameras in hotspot areas, AI-assisted camera technology, and campaigns to raise households’ awareness of their duty to only use licensed waste companies when getting rid of rubbish.

This round will see 26 local authorities across England benefit from the grants of up to £50,000, including the London Borough of Hounslow, City of Wolverhampton Council and Cheshire East Council.

  • The London Borough of Hounslow will be installing CCTV cameras with ANPR readers to better identify offenders, whilst directly informing residents about correct waste disposal methods.
  • City of Wolverhampton Council will introduce further CCTV, signage and AI-enabled SMART cameras, with images captured on the CCTV shared via the council’s ‘Shop a Tipper’ campaign for residents to come forward to identify criminals. This will increase the probability of identifying offenders for prosecutions and reinforce that fly-tipping is not the easy option.
  • Cheshire East Council will be providing handheld devices to street enforcement officers for remote working, helping to increase the time officers can spend on the streets and improve engagement with the community.

Recycling Minister, Robbie Moore said:

"Fly-tipping is a brazen attack on communities, nature and our environment. It can create danger for wildlife as well as people and I am determined the harm done by cynical criminals doesn’t go unpunished.

"We have increased the maximum penalty councils can issue for these offences, made sure money from those fines goes back into more enforcement and clean up, and now we are giving councils a further £1 million boost.

"Our previous funding has achieved significant reductions in fly-tipping across many parts of England – which is why we will build on our successes and ensure councils have more resources to carry on the fight."

The grants – totalling a combined £994,547 – announced today will build on almost £1.2m which has already been allocated since 2022 across 32 other local authorities as part of the fly-tipping intervention grant scheme.

In the previous round, Defra funding helped Hyndburn Borough Council install fencing and gates to prevent access to fly-tipping hotspots. This saw fly-tipping decrease by 100% in these areas in the following three months and the council saved approximately £4,150 in waste removal and clean-up costs over that period. This, and other case studies, are available from Keep Britain Tidy.

Under the Prime Minister’s Antisocial Behaviour Action Plan we increased the upper limit of on-the-spot fines for fly-tipping to £1,000, and for littering to £500 in July 2023; laid regulations to ringfence the money raised by councils from litter and fly-tipping penalties for enforcement and clean up activity, which came into force on the 1st April 2024; and published league tables on fly-tipping enforcement to show which councils are taking a strong approach.

Councils can issue on-the-spot fines to fly-tippers and can stop, search, and seize vehicles suspected of being used for fly-tipping. Local authorities are also able to issue penalties to householders who pass their waste to an unlicensed carrier, as this waste is likely to be found fly tipped.

Councillor Guy Lambert, Cabinet Member for Highways, Recycling and Health Integration at Hounslow Council said:

"Fly-tipping on our streets and green spaces blights neighbourhoods, endangers wildlife, and impacts on people’s pride of place, while also putting added strain on council services.

"We are continuing to trial innovative new strategies to force down the number of fly-tipping offences in the borough. This latest funding is welcomed and will support our dedicated enforcement team to better identify offenders through enhanced CCTV images.

"Fly-tipping is a serious problem, and we want to send a clear message that we will not tolerate it, and anyone caught will be punished."

Councillor Bhupinder Gakhal, Cabinet Member for Resident Services at City of Wolverhampton Council, said:

"Fly tipping is a blight on the local environment and it will not be tolerated in Wolverhampton.

"We are focussed on making our city a cleaner and greener place to live and we will not hesitate to prosecute anyone who thinks it is okay to illegally dump rubbish wherever they please.

"AI-enabled SMART cameras will make it easier for our enforcement team to identify those who commit this environmental crime while funding will also help provide infrastructure to protect our targeted spaces. This will help build on the success of our Shop a Tipper campaign, which has already helped reduce fly-tipping by 50% in the areas we have targeted."

Further reforms include tougher background checks for waste operators, as well as mandatory digital waste tracking, which will enable authorities to identify when waste drops out of the system, and help householders to check if their waste has been disposed of properly.

We are also working hard with the National Fly-tipping Prevention Group to create a new fly-tipping toolkit, which incorporates guides on how councils and others can present robust cases to court, set up and run effective local partnerships to tackle fly-tipping and raise awareness of the household and business waste duty of care, with further parts to come.

A full list of recipients is available below.

  • Basildon Borough Council
  • Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council
  • Boston Borough Council
  • Cheshire East Council
  • City of Wolverhampton Council
  • Cotswold District Council
  • East Riding of Yorkshire Council
  • Gateshead Council
  • London Borough of Brent Council
  • London Borough of Hounslow
  • London Borough of Merton
  • London Borough of Sutton
  • North Northamptonshire Council
  • North Tyneside Council
  • North Warwickshire Borough Council
  • North Yorkshire Council
  • Peterborough City Council
  • Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council
  • Rochdale Borough Council
  • Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council
  • Southend-On-Sea City Council
  • Stoke-On-Trent City Council
  • Sunderland City Council
  • Swale Borough Council
  • Wealden District Council
  • Wiltshire Council

From: Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs and Robbie Moore MP