Huge rise in fly-tipping blighting Suffolk and north Essex

Fly-tipping in Brantham by Platinum Crown

An example of fly-tipping in Brantham. - Credit: Archant

The number of fly-tipping cases in Suffolk and north Essex have soared in a year.

Data from the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs shows that there was 4,612 incidents in Suffolk in 2020/21 - 1,389 more than the previous year, a 43% rise.

Cases more than doubled in Babergh, while East Suffolk saw the largest number of cases - 2,252, up from 1,594.

Ipswich cases increased by 161, while Mid Suffolk had a rise of 264 incidents. West Suffolk fared much better than the rest of the region, but did also see a jump of 41 cases.

Across Suffolk the figures amount to around 384 incidences of fly-tipping per month, or 12 per day, in the period 2020/21. 

East Suffolk cabinet member for the environment, councillor James Mallinder, said: “The increase is thought to be a result of the Covid lockdowns, both in terms of reduced opportunities for lawful disposal, including access to household waste recycling centres and charity shops, along with potentially increased reporting as more people walked in their local areas.

“Although Covid placed restrictions on the way some incidents have been investigated, due to a lack of face-to-face interviewing opportunities, overall enforcement actions increased across Suffolk compared to the previous year, in contrast to the national picture.

James Mallinder, Conservative cabinet member for the environment at East Suffolk Council. Picture: E

East Suffolk Councillor James Mallinder says that they will continue to work with people to fix the current fly-tipping problem in the area. - Credit: East Suffolk Council

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“Fly-tipping is a blight on the landscape and a drain on resources – and East Suffolk Council will continue to investigate all incidents of fly-tipping, where evidence is found, and would encourage anyone who witnesses fly-tipping or finds fly-tipped rubbish to report it to us.

“We also continue to work with our partners in the Suffolk Fly Tipping Group (STAG) to combat fly-tipping.”

Rupert Wailes-Fairbairn, from Lycetts, a rural insurance broker, described fly-tipping as "an unwelcome blight on our countryside", while also suggesting that the effects of Covid may have been a factor in the rise of these crimes.

“The pandemic saw restrictions, such as booking systems at some household recycling centres, which could have affected incidents of fly-tipping

“Other factors, including the rise in DIY and changes in household consumption, travel and leisure during the lockdown, may have also contributed.”

Rupert Wailes-Fairbairn

Rupert Wailes-Fairbairn, from rural insurance brokers, Lycetts, described fly-tipping as a "blight on our countryside". - Credit: Cameron Wells (CW)