The number of fly-tipping incidents reported to Caerphilly County Borough Council was higher during 2020 than in any of the four previous years.
A Freedom of Information request to the council showed there were 1,760 reported incidents of fly-tipping in 2020, an increase on 2016’s total of 1,134 incidents.
The number of complaints made to the council peaked in both June and September after appearing to climb gradually following lockdown in March.
The county borough’s waste centres closed following the lockdown announcement and didn’t reopen until May.
Following the lockdown announcement on March 23, every month in 2020 saw an increase of complaints on the previous year.
June’s total of 238 complaints is the only time more than 200 cases have been reported in the county borough in the last five years.
Fly-Tipping Action Wales said it is not possible to say for certain whether more fly-tipping has taken place or whether the recorded increase is down to factors such as people making use of local areas and reporting incidents more pro-actively.
They did however acknowledge that there has been an increase in the number of illegitimate and unlicensed waste services being advertised on social media.
Neil Harrison, Team Leader at Fly-tipping Action Wales, said: “We have been working closely with local authorities and wider organisations in Wales to monitor levels of fly-tipping since the start of the pandemic.
“The effect of this period on levels of fly-tipping in Wales is still uncertain but early indications seem to show that there has been a noticeable increase in the levels of fly-tipping since Wales entered the first national lockdown.
“We have seen more illegitimate waste services being advertised via social media, so our message to the public is – if you want to help us reduce fly-tipping then please ensure that any person or business you give your waste to is a registered waste carrier. The same applies for business waste.
“You can ensure this by asking the person or business whether they are a registered waste carrier and you must confirm this via the Natural Resources Wales website, always ask where your waste is going.”
“Whether fly-tipping has increased or not, one positive is that more people are taking a stand against antisocial behaviours in their local communities such as fly-tipping, by reporting these issues when they see them.”
He added: “If you decided to fly-tip then you are breaking the law and risk a criminal record, with fines of up to £50,000 or 12 months imprisonment.
“More serious or repeated offences can attract an unlimited fine and up to five years imprisonment if convicted in Crown Court.”
Anyone who produces waste has a duty of care to ensure that it is disposed of properly. This means a person may be guilty of an offence if their waste has been found to be dumped, even if the dumping was carried out by somebody else.
- ‘Community stars’ recognised in virtual award ceremony
- Residents to be reimbursed and inspections to be carried out on homes
- Hefin David MS: “It is encouraging to see how well the vaccine rollout is going across Wales”
- Plans to build 164 houses on greenfield land approved
- Police precept increase of 5.49% agreed
The Welsh Government’s ‘A Litter and Fly-tipping Free Wales’ plan is currently out for consultation.
Welcoming the plan and speaking about fly-tipping, Caerphilly MS Hefin David said: “It is such a shame to see the impact fly-tipping has on our communities.
“Not only is it an eyesore, it has a very negative impact on our health and wellbeing. Littering of plastics is also a real threat to wildlife and their habitats.
“There is no excuse for this and continuing to ignore the problem risks losing wildlife, not just for future generations, but for all of us today.
“We all have a part to play when it comes to tackling these issues and this is our opportunity to make a difference. I would urge people across Caerphilly to have their say on this Welsh Government consultation.”
Natural Resources Wales’ website provides a list of registered waste removal services and businesses.
Fly tipping can be reported to Caerphilly County Borough Council via their website.
Stay informed with quality, independent, local journalism…that matters
We believe the public should be informed about their community, coherently and with context. However, running a professional news service comes at a financial cost.
We are asking readers for their support to help us develop and grow our service.
Our membership costs from just £3 a month and in return, you can use our website without adverts.
Become a member – cancel anytime