A report released today (14 December 2021) by Welsh Government and Fly-tipping Action Wales has revealed that Cardiff (301), Newport (59), Carmarthenshire (41) and Caerphilly (40) are the top performing areas for issuing fixed penalty notices to tackle fly-tipping in Wales.                                                             

Meanwhile, the 2020-21 report, which analyses incidents recorded by local authorities between 1 April 2020 and 31 March 2021 only, shows that Neath Port Talbot (7), and Rhondda Cynon Taff (7) achieved the highest number of successful fly-tipping prosecutions — with Neath Port Talbot leading the way in enforcement for the eighth consecutive year.

A total of 25,047 waste enforcement actions (including prosecutions and fixed penalty notices, but also investigations and stop and search checks) were recorded in Wales over the twelve-month period.

Despite a 22% overall increase in fly-tipping incidents vs. the 2019-2020 report, which is likely a result of the national lockdowns enforced to prevent the spread of Covid-19, many local authorities, including Pembrokeshire, Ceredigion and Swansea still managed to record a decrease in occurrences in their local areas.

Pembrokeshire recorded the largest annual decrease at 14%, followed by Ceredigion (13% drop in incidents), while Swansea achieved a 3% reduction. Meanwhile, Powys recorded the second lowest number of fly-tipping incidents in Wales (behind Ceredigion).

To continue efforts across Wales in the long-term fight against waste crime, Fly-tipping Action Wales is calling on Welsh homeowners to ensure that they are disposing of their excess household rubbish responsibly, by following their Waste Duty of Care.

Neil Harrison, Fly-tipping Action Wales Programme Manager, said: “While it is disappointing to see an increase in fly-tipping incidents, particularly after a sustained year-on-year decrease over the last few years, we must not forget that waste enforcement officers across the country have been under extreme pressure amidst the coronavirus pandemic and many of these key workers were temporarily re-deployed to deal with the local authorities’ response to coronavirus. The pandemic has also placed additional pressures on waste services, with more people carrying out renovations and moving home at a time when household waste recycling centres were unavailable or had additional restrictions in place during the pandemic.

“Like all other sectors, teams were working with depleted numbers, yet the fact that they were still able to deliver over 25,047 enforcement actions is testament to the hard work and commitment of our local authorities that continued to tackle environmental crime on the ground during a very challenging time.

“Unfortunately, around two thirds of fly-tipping incidents still contain household waste, which is why I’d like to remind householders to protect themselves by always checking with Natural Resources Wales that the person they use to remove any excess rubbish from their home is a registered waste carrier. Otherwise, they risk a fine of up to £300 if their waste is found fly-tipped. Householders can also be fined up to £5,000 and end up with a criminal record if taken to court”.

Tim Jones Streetcare Enforcement Officer at Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council, said: “Rhondda Cynon Taf Enforcement Team are committed to investigating every incident of fly tipping and prosecuting every offence where enough evidence is present. 

“Following a difficult year where enforcement staff were diverted to assisting with the aftermath of Storm Dennis and then Covid related duties, we are now back to full strength and hoping for many more successful prosecutions in 2021-22”.

Fly-tipping is a serious crime. It causes considerable damage to the environment, the economy and local communities — with the consequences being up to a £50,000 fine or imprisonment for the offender. 

When arranging the removal of household waste, people in Wales are required to check with Natural Resources Wales that the person or company they are using are a registered waste carrier by visiting naturalresources.wales/checkwaste or calling 03000 653000. Failure to make these appropriate checks could result in a £300 fixed penalty notice if the waste is fly-tipped.

For more information on ways to manage and dispose of your waste safely, legally and responsibly, please visit DutyofCare.wales, follow @FtAW on Twitter or search @FtAWales Facebook.