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Bucks' 800 Tonne Problem

Tyres, fence panels, the odd fridge or washing machine, all piled up on the sides on Buckinghamshire's roads last year.

Published at 5:48am 2nd November 2015. (Updated at 6:06am 2nd November 2015) 3-minute read.

Bucks' 800 Tonne Problem

Nearly 800 tonnes of it was dumped in Buckinghamshire last year and it cost us, the taxpayer, £200,000+.

We're talking about fly-tipping.

We often hear about when people are successfully prosecuted for the offence, but it's a much bigger issue than that.

There's a team who spend their lives driving around Bucks, hunting down the people who leave both household and commercial waste in fields, on the sides of roads and in lay-bys.

Dan's been out to one hotspot. Hear his report below:

Last year:

  • 41 fridges and washing machines
  • 32 lots of tyres
  • 3 lots of clinical waste
  • Over 100 bags of building leftovers
  • 200 bags of household waste
  • and a pile of asbestos

...were all found on Aylesbury Vale's roadsides (plus a lot more). 

  • In 2002-3 Bucks County Council disposed of over 8,500 tonnes of waste fly-tipped on public land (equivalent to covering a full size league football field one metre deep). Last year they disposed of under 800 tonnes due to reduced fly-tipping (the equivalent to under two penalty areas on a football field). 
  • They say they've managed to save council tax payers money through robust enforcement which has reduced our costs for clearing and disposing fly-tipping.
  • In 2002-3, and over previous years, fly-tipping had been increasing at 10% annually. Even if it had simply stayed at the 2002-3 level, and not increased any further, landfill taxes have risen massively in the last ten years.
  • BCC say that if they had not carried out enforcement work and had simply continued to pick up the dumped waste and dispose of it, the council tax payers would have had to pay an estimated additional £3million to dispose of the waste.
  • Over the last 5 years they have convicted on average better than one offender per week.
  • In 2014-15 BCC paid for 783 tonnes of waste to be disposed of from public land. This cost £17,961 in ‘gate’ fees at landfill and £62,645 in landfill tax. Total - £80,606.
  • They paid around £175,000 in enforcement costs (investigation, legal, materials etc.) and were awarded £47,000 for successful actions taken at court.

On the Waste Partnership website, the advice for big items you might not know how to get rid of is:

Depending on your type of item, there are many options of what to do with your bulky waste item. Below are some suggestions of what you can do to keep it out of landfill.

  • Ask friends and family if they have use for it first

  • Sell it using your local newspaper or online market place

  • Contact a local re-use organisation (please see list below)

  • Take it to be re-used at your local Household waste and recycling centre. From here it will be taken to either the Aston Clinton or High Heavens Re-Use Shops

If you witness rubbish being dumped illegally, report the incident by calling BCC's hotline number - 0845 330 1856 - or report it on-line.

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