Defra figures reveals extent of Lancashire fly-tipping problem

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County of Lancashire is plagued by a fly-tipping ‘epidemic’

Fly-tipping in the county of Lancashire has reached ‘epidemic’ levels as the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) reveal that local authorities in the north-west county cleaned up 25,461 fly-tipping incidents in 2014/15.

The official government figures indicate there was just under 900,000 reported incidents of fly-tipping throughout England in 2014/15, costing councils a total of £67 million to investigate and clear away. This is money funded from taxpayers, which would be better used for the improvement of other council services.

Defra figures show that more than 25,000 fly-tipping incidents were reported in Lancashire last year

Fly-tipping in Lancashire has become a major issue

The official figures for Lancashire reveal a mixed message, as some areas, such as Preston, have seen a decrease in fly-tipping incidents compared to the previous year, while other areas, including Chorley and Rossendale, have witnessed an increase in fly-tipping.

Overall, compared to the year 2013/14, last year saw 8,000 less reported incidents of illegal waste dumping throughout Lancashire but this drop has not lessened the concern felt by councillors and residents alike, who consider the problem a major threat that needs to be seriously addressed.

On a national scale, the number of fly-tipping incidents in the past two years has increased by 27%.

In Lancashire, it was Burnley and Blackpool which reported the largest number of incidents in 2014/15 with 4,663 and 4,328 respectively, while Fylde and South Ribble both recorded 518 and 539 incidents respectively.

Lancaster’s chief environment officer, Mark Davies, said the apparent disparity between districts could be due to how councils handle fly-tipping incidents: He elaborated: “Where we might regard a single black bag in a back alley as fly-tipping, some authorities don’t count that.”

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