There has been a huge increase in reports of fly-tipping over the past year, according to figures from the free fly-tipping reporting app and website ClearWaste.com
Reports of incidents of illegal dumping rocketed by almost 350%1 percent since the first lockdown compared to before the Coronavirus pandemic.
May 2020 saw the biggest rise in reports of fly-tipping – a staggering 526%2 increase on February 2020's total - the last full month before the first lockdown began in March when most council-run recycling centres were closed. Although most tips reopened after the first full lockdown ended, many continue to operate with restrictions including only being open to people who pre-book a slot.
Even with most tips open to some degree, the number of reports of fly-tipping received on the ClearWaste website and app has remained considerably higher than pre-lockdown rates.
Even December 2020, the month with the lowest monthly increase compared with before the pandemic began, saw a more than doubling in reports of fly-tipping on the - up 239%3 on February 2020's total.
"The rate of increase in reports of fly-tipping is shocking," says Martin Montague, creator of the free ClearWaste.com fly-tipping reporting website and app. "Britain is drowning under a sea of illegally dumped rubbish which blights our town, cities and countryside."
"Fly-tippers have used the fact that many council tips are now operating on a restricted basis to ramp up their illegal activity. Some of the fly-tipping will come from unscrupulous tradespeople, but much of it will come from rogue traders conning consumers."
"When people have DIY leftovers, garden waste or stuff they've found after a clear-out they often ask for recommendations on social media – but they shouldn't just hand their unwanted stuff to someone with a van who offers to remove it for them for a bit of cash."
"If they do it will almost certainly end up fly-tipped and the householder may well then get prosecuted as, by law, it is their responsibility to ensure that their waste is taken away by a licensed and legitimate company."
Mr Montague's ClearWaste.com app and website links to every local authority in the country and makes it really easy for anyone to report fly-tipping wherever they are in the UK and it gives councils the location of the rubbish along with details and photographs.
ClearWaste.com is now helping people to get rid of extra rubbish using licensed waste removal companies with a new price comparison scheme that protects consumers and saves them money.
"We get hundreds of reports of fly-tipping on our app every day and giving people alternatives than using dodgy unlicensed traders they find on social media will help to stop lots of incidents of fly-tipping," says Mr Montague.
"There is clearly an increasing demand for legal waste removal so we are now helping to link consumers with trustworthy, government-registered waste removal businesses and avoid fly-tippers."
"Our website makes it simple to find honest, reliable businesses including men – or women - and vans, skip hire or grab bags firms – all backed by our £1,000 no-fly-tipping guarantee," says Mr Montague. "It's all about making it easy for people to do the right thing."
"Clearwaste.com came about because I was absolutely sick to death of seeing fly-tipping everywhere. I really hate the damage it does to our environment and wildlife, not to mention the cost to taxpayers of cleaning it up."
The ClearWaste.com app is available free from the Apple and Google Play app stores: