Archive for Fly-tipping
In the run up to the main launch of Plastic Shores in London on the 4th May, we wanted to write a little about the various organisations that have helped us out along the way. One group that doesn’t actually feature directly in the film but were instrumental in securing us most of our footage of landfill and recycling centres is the Carymoor Environmental Trust. LMV was put in touch with Juliet Lawn at the Trust through a mutual friend and we were introduced to representatives of Viridor, who own and run the nearby Dimmer landfill site. Carymoor are an environmental education and nature conservation charity who have established over 100 acres of diverse habitats over capped landfill in east Somerset. This gives schools and community groups a unique opportunity to study what happens to our waste and how we can manage it after it has been disposed of, particularly in relation to land restoration. In some of the habitat areas the Trust had set up, it was almost impossible to tell the bustling life of flora and fauna (see below) hid beneath them 26 metres of rubbish. Carymoor operates out of a beautiful sustainably built eco-centre (pictured above) that generates most of its energy through solar and wind. A grey water unit also ensures much of the water from the building is reused. It was through Juliet that LMV was given permission by Viridor to film the Dimmer Landfill Site, which features prominently in Plastic Shores. Viridor then went on to allow us to visit and film their recycling factory in Ford, West Sussex.
Interestingly, a recent BBC article in March of this year states that since introducing entry fees, Somerset landfill sites have experienced half a million fewer visits since April 2011 than normal. However, there has appeared to be a rise in the number of reported cases of fly-tipping in the same period.
news.sky.com 28th May 2011
The amount of fly-tipping in the UK is set to increase on a massive scale as cash-strapped local councils raise the price of the disposal of bulky rubbish. A survey of 148 councils across the UK by AnyJunk has found that many have increased skip prices by over half. The rate in Bradford went up 100% between 2009-2010, 89% in Glasgow and 67% in Bristol and Bath. These rates are believed to have a direct link with the amount of fly-tipping, which currently costs the taxpayer about £65 million a year to clean up. Currently the punishment for being caught fly-tipping is a maximum fine of £50,000 and five years in jail. But with so much money to be made from the business, some worry that fly-tippers will take the risk. Fly-tipping is defined as ‘the illegal dumping of waste on land that does not have a license to receive it.’
Sources: www.guardian.co.uk/environment 10th September 2010
Tougher action by local authorities has resulted in a dip in fly-tipping incidents in the UK. The figures from the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), which can be seen here, show that incidents have dropped by 18.7% to 947,000 in the past year. There were 2,460 cases brought to court of which 97% ended up with a successful outcome. The drop over doubles the previous year’s fall of 9%. Of the locations subjected to fly-tipping, roads and highways were the most severely affected with 49% of all incidents happening here. Council land and footpaths were in second with 33%. It cost local authorities £19.1 million in enforcement action 2009-2010 (up 4.3% from 2008-2009) and £45.8 million to clear up the illegal dumps (down £9.2 million from 2008-2009). However the results only represent fly-tipping incidents on public land and do not include dumping on private land (e.g.: farms).
In response to the report the Environment minister Lord Henley said: “We’re encouraged by the efforts being made by local authorities to tackle fly-tipping but there is no room for complacency. A total of nearly 947,000 incidents is unacceptable by any standards and fly-tipping is clearly still a significant problem. We must all work together to stamp out this continuing blight on our neighbourhoods.”