More than 1,000 fly-tipping incidents in Bolton in a year

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) figures reveal there were 1,184 fly-tipping incidents in Bolton in the year to March 2022 – though this was down from 1,250 the 12 months before.

A significant amount of fly-tipping in the area in the latest 12-month figures was discovered on back alleyways, 54 per cent, and on council land, 22 per cent.

Of the discarded waste, the largest proportion was household waste, 45 per cent, followed by household black bin bags at 24 per cent.

The data also shows £33,060 was paid by councils on removing large incidents of fly-tipping in Bolton.

Council deputy leader, Cllr Hilary Fairclough, said: “The council continues to crackdown on fly-tipping and we regularly take those responsible to court.

“Fly-tipping is anti-social behaviour, which shows a complete disregard for the local environment and our community.

“Removing the waste also costs the taxpayer.

“We will not hesitate in taking action against anyone who commits fly-tipping in our borough and welcome the fines that are handed out.

“I hope this is a deterrent to those thinking of dumping their waste.

“We encourage residents who see anyone flytipping to contact us via the council website.”

The Bolton News: Cllr Toby Hewitt, Cllr Shafi Patel and Cllr Derek BullockCllr Toby Hewitt, Cllr Shafi Patel and Cllr Derek Bullock (Image: Cllr Nadim Muslim)

Environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy said the high level of fly-tipping seen across England is a “tragedy” to the environment and to communities.

Across England, 1.09m fly-tipping incidents were recorded in 2021-22– a decrease of four per cent from the 1.14m reported in 2020-21.

The cost of clearance to local authorities was £10.7m last year.

Allison Ogden-Newton OBE, Keep Britain Tidy chief executive, said: “A million plus fly-tipping incidents is a tragedy for the environment and communities and illustrates just how little people understand about the impact their unwanted ‘stuff’ can have.”

Ms Ogden-Newton added there must be a concerted effort to educate the public about their role in solving the problem.

“We need immediate and tough enforcement that targets the rogue traders who are making a fortune by breaking the law, raking in the cash and wrecking our environment,” she added.

The Defra figures show around 91,000 fixed penalty notices were issued across England in 2021-22, an increase of 58 per cent from 2020-21.

And the number of court fines nearly tripled from just 621 in 2020-21 to 1,798 last year.

The value of all fines was £840,000 in 2021-22, more than doubling the £330,000 from the year before.

In Bolton, 84 fixed penalty notices were issued last year, up from 13 in 2020-21.

And 41 fines were issued by courts in the year to March – a rise from two the year prior.

The total value of fines was £23,130.

The Bolton News: Cllr Shafi Patel with volunteers who are litter pickingCllr Shafi Patel with volunteers who are litter picking (Image: Cllr Nadim Muslim)

David Renard, environment spokesperson for the Local Government Association, said fly-tipping is not just an eyesore for residents, but a serious environmental and public health risk.

Mr Renard said: “Councils are working tirelessly to counter the thousands of incidents every year and are determined to crack down on the problem, so it is good to see that the number of enforcement actions has increased.

“However, penalties handed down from prosecution fail to match the severity of the offence committed.

“We continue to urge the government to review sentencing guidelines for fly-tipping so that offenders are given bigger fines for more serious offences to act as a deterrent.”

Although there are residents who decide to fly-tip, there are many councillors and litter picking groups who continue to tidy up fly-tipping across Bolton.

Just last Saturday, February 4, a clean-up was organised, supported by Cllr Derek Bullock, Cllr Toby Hewitt, and Cllr Shafi Patel, with support from local residents from the Longfellow Road and Longfield Road in Hulton.

This was to remove fly-tipping and litter from back alleys and surrounding streets.

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By working constructively between councillors, local residents, and Bolton Council, everyone can be assured of a clean and healthy place to live.

Cllr Hewitt said: “I am pleased that we’re able to work with local residents to help make our area a better place to live.

“We’re so lucky to have dedicated volunteers that will work with us to protect our green spaces.”

Cllr Bullock added: “The council has a zero-tolerance policy on litter and fly-tipping and we’re lucky to have them support us in Hulton, providing enforcement to fine those responsible.”

Cllr Shafi Patel added: “We’ve always been keen to support community groups in Hulton and always happy to lend a hand.

“We’re lucky to have a great team of councillors and residents working together to better our area.”

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