Fly tipping analysis London & England
Fly tipping incidents annually per household 2020 in London and England
There were almost 1 million (976,000) fly tipping incidents reported by councils in England in 2020 according to the Defra. A figure which btw excludes waste fly tipped on private property because that falls outside the councils’ responsibility. So, whatever you read after this point, don’t forget that the problem is much worse!
Of those million or so fly tips in England, about one third took place in London. This is equivalent to 1,000 fly tips occurring in London every day of the year.
This post looks at whether this figure is worse or better than the rest of the country, how fly tipping differs by borough, and whether the price a council charges its residents for bulky waste collection impacts behaviours.
Comparing apples with apples
Since fly tipped waste is created by people and mostly comprises stuff thrown out from the home (like a sofa or mattress) or stuff generated from improving the home (like some builders rubble or an old toilet), it seems sensible when comparing region differences that we adjust the figures to reflect number of underlying households
So we took annual fly tipping incidents by region and London borough and divided them by the latest ONS data for number of households (which is a bit out of date but not by much) in that region. This creates a fly tip per 100 homes rate – so we can start to compare apples with apples.
|region||fly tips||households (000s)||fly tips per 100 households|
|England excl. London||615,551||19,894||3|
1 fly tip per 10 London homes
London has an average of 11 fly tips annually per 100 homes, compared to a national average of 3. On the face of it therefore, the fly tipping challenge in London is over 300% worse than the rest of the country.
Fun fact – since London has more than one fly tipping incident per year for every 10 London homes and assuming you (dear reader) are not a fly tipper …. Then on average one in nine of your neighbours is a fly tipper!
Map of fly tipping rates in England by region in 2020
London fly tipping rates significantly borough by borough
Islington, Bromley, Barnet, Kingston and Bexley are the boroughs with the lowest fly tipping rates per household. Brent, Camden, Haringey, Hounslow and Redbridge are the London boroughs with the highest fly tipping rates and between them accounted for more a third of all fly tipping in London in 2020.
Table of London fly tipping
|Local authority||fly tips||households||fly tips per 100 homes||council bulky collection charge1|
|Hammersmith & Fulham||13,322||74,700||18||£27|
|Kensington & Chelsea||6,490||72,400||9||£33|
|Barking & Dagenham||3,794||71,800||5||£10|
|Richmond upon Thames||2,887||78,500||4||£62|
Council bulky waste collection charges do not seem to affect fly tipping
It’s often said that a very cheap or free bulky waste collection service from the council will reduce fly tipping. However, when we compare fly tipping rates per household with the amount each council charges householders for their bulky waste collection service – we found no correlation between the two.
Of the 5 councils with the worst levels of fly tipping, 4 charged less than the London average of £30 for a collection. In fact, Redbridge, despite having one of the highest rates of fly tipping, offers the service for free. Equally, of the five councils with the lowest fly tipping rates, 4 have a bulky waste collection charge higher than London’s average.
Table: Fly-tipping by region relative to prosecution, skip prices & council bulky waste collection fees
|region||fly tips1||population||fly tips per 1000 people||fined2||council bulky collection charge3||skip hire price4|
|England excl London||615,551||47,324,972||13||0.7%||£28||£290|
|1 Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs, Flytipping statistics for England 2019/20 (24 Feb 2021)|
|2 % of reported fly tipping incidents that resulted in a fine – source: Defra|
|3 average fee charged to householders by the council in this region to remove a sofa|
|4 average price including VAT to hire builders skip – source: LoveJunk research|
Instead of encouraging councils to reduce bulky waste collection service fees, perhaps it would be better to concentrate in what boroughs like Islington, Bromley and Barnet are doing to achieve such low rates of fly tipping. Then look to apply these lessons elsewhere in the country.
Other posts that might be of interest: